BALTIMORE, MD – Having already earned their best standing at Eastern Regionals, 4 seed Steel City drew the unenviable position of taking on tournament top seed Gotham. Gotham came in to skate their first official bout of the tournament, having won their scheduled first bout against Dutchland via forfeit. In the first half, Gotham predictably controlled the pack but did not absolutely dominate the feisty Pittsburgh squad who battled for the entire 30 minutes to finish down by 115. In the second half, however, Gotham turned it up a notch, shutting out Steel City for 24 minutes straight and running up 11 double-digit jams, 6 of which were 25 or more points.
Bonnie Thunders lined up for Gotham against her fellow Team USA skater ‘snot rocket science, beating her for a quick 3 points. Papierschnitt, Brigitte Barhot, Fisti Cuffs, and Wild Cherri then began an all-bout precedent of a fairly impregnable NY back wall, keeping Mean Burrito in place while Suzy Hotrod motored to another 9. Bonnie Thunders then cranked out 18 as Gotham displayed even more weaponry, great one-on-one blocking, with Donna Matrix putting the clamps on Hurricane Heather. With the score 30-0, Steel Hurtin’s Ally McKill drew a back block on Sexy Slaydie, and while her teammates Cheeseburger, J-Bomb, and Double Destroyer constructed a goat pen, the Crippler was able to score 2 off the powerjam. The Gotham defense proved too strong for Steel City to add anything to the midpoint of the half, and with 15 minutes to go, Gotham led 58-2.
Another big hit from Sexy Slaydie kept the Shocker from lead jammer but she was able to recover as Bonnie Thunders went to the box, scoring 6 points on the powerjam. Wild Cherri then got 6 back for Gotham fighting through the inside as Papierschnitt and Hyper Lynx continued to make life miserable for Hurricane Heather. ‘snot rocket science tried to skate to daylight from the initial scrum of the next jam but a quickly-adjusting Sweet Sherry Pie caught her and forced her back into the pack and the score was 69-8, Gotham.
A great wall by Donna Matrix and Papierschnitt was equaled by waterfalling blocks by J-Bomb and Madame Abagael and no jammer escaped the pack for a minute. Finally, B.Zerk and Mean Burrito shot through side by side, neither declared lead, and when penalties thinned the pack, Mean Burrito had won that matchup, 6-4. Two jams later, however, B.Zerk struck for a huge 29 points, skating freely through a 4-2 pack advantage as Bonnie Thunders, Hela Skelter, and Wild Cherri kept Hurricane Heather at a standstill. Mean Burrito was able to capture the first lead jam for Steel City without benefit of a powerjam but could not escape Sweet Sherry Pie until a clearing block from Bonecrusher. La Diabla* did yeoman’s work on Suzy Hotrod but the All-Star was still able to outscore Mean Burrito, 7-4.
With the score 113-18, Ally McKill drew another back block, this time from Wild Cherri; despite operating through a short-handed pack, the Shocker was able to fight past Sexy Slaydie for a grand slam. With only 30 seconds to go in the half, Steel City had hung to within 90 points but Bonnie Thunders quickly ended that dream, swiftly flying around the track for 25 points with Hurricane Heather in the box. Steel City got back some momentum right as the jam ended as the Crippler drew a back block from Bonnie Thunders as the whistle ended the 138-23 half.
Whatever momentum Pittsburgh sought to continue was quashed as Sexy Slaydie knocked ‘snot rocket science around to kill the penalty. Bonnie Thunders launched out of the penalty box for lead jam and 28 points as Sexy Slaydie rumbled her personal locomotive through the Pittsburgh blockers as well, unfortunately for Double Destroyer. Suzy Hotrod’s amazing acceleration generated another 28 for Gotham as Papierschnitt and Wild Cherri continued to dominate the back of the pack where Hurricane Heather was only able to score at the end of the two minutes. The lead had opened to 194-27 in only 5 minutes, and with 15 minutes to go, Gotham had extended the lead to 269-27.
The domination continued as B.Zerk struck for 30 of her own, collapsing a wall in front of her as Suzy Hotrod, FistiCuffs, and Sexy Slaydie took turns playing one-on-one against Hurricane Heather, who as soon as she escaped one, found the other two in front of her again. With 10 minutes to go, a frustrated Steel City began to pile up penalties. Wild Cherri beat ‘snot rocket science at the front of the pack through multiple passes for 15 points. Suzy Hotrod followed with 30 as Fisti Cuffs and Sweet Sherry Pie controlled the front, drawing a back block from the Shocker. ‘snot rocket science was then called for a pair of majors over the next two jams as B.Zerk and Wild Cherri added on another 15 and 21, respectively.
In the final jam, the Shocker was able to wrest the first lead jam in the second half for Steel City but found herself shut down by Hyper Lynx and Bonnie Thunders while B.Zerk rattled off 18. Unwilling to end the game without scoring, the Shocker eventually fought through to get 3. Steel City’s answer to Gotham’s domination came up a file not found with the final score 404-30. Gotham goes on to the finals on Sunday against 2E Philly while 3E Charm City will take on 4E Steel City for the final East invite to Championships.