Spring Roll: (8) Twin Cities Upsets (6) Pioneer Valley, 219-99

FORT WAYNE, IN — MRDA #8 Twin Cities, ranked two slots below Pioneer Valley in the MRDA, kept their momentum from a very strong second half against MRDA #9 Harm City earlier in the day and put up the first upset of Spring Roll in dominant fashion, upending Pioneer Valley 219-99 to quickly build an argument for inclusion in the MRDA top 6.

Pioneer Valley seemed more harmed than usual by their traditionally short roster this time out; they fielded only 10 skaters, including three players in their rookie season.

Twin Cities’s Timchilla had a huge 30-0 powerjam run on the second frame of the game that quickly put the underdogs ahead 30-4; Johnny Pocket Rocket, Steve Sweat and Blunt Damage kept the blazing TCT start going over the next few jams, and with just 8 minutes gone in the game, TCT was up by a somewhat startling 59-8.

Although PVRD did get a little more offense going in the next few jams, they couldn’t slow down Twin Cities much and the lead hovered around 50 to about the 15 minute mark, where Pioneer Valley trailed 81-26. However, two big jams for Johnny Pocket Rocket and Steve Sweat blasted Twin Cities’ advantage to 103-34; Pioneer Valley called their first timeout with about 11 minutes left to play in the half.

Still, though, Twin Cities continued to run circles around Pioneer Valley with very effective pack work both on offense and defense, while Pioneer Valley’s blockers were often left working alone or quickly separated from help. Going into the last jam of the first half, Pioneer Valley was reduced to trying to stay within 100 points — but Steve Sweat’s half-ending 15-2 jam put the underdogs up by 111 at the break, 147-36.

Through the second half, each jam ended with Twin Cities’ next pack sprinting from their bench to the jammer line to set up the jammer line scrum start — for the majority of the jams, Pioneer Valley seemed willing to cede the jammer line, and Twin Cities continually made them pay for it by taking most of the lead jammer calls. Although Pioneer Valley kept the second half much closer, they still lost ground — outscored 72-63 over the last 30 minutes — and went down to a 219-99 defeat.

Twin Cities has one more game in their weekend; they’ll face #11 Race City in the final bout of Spring Roll Sunday night. Pioneer Valley’s weekend doesn’t get any easier tomorrow when they face St. Louis at 1pm and YMMD at 7pm.