Weekend Preview: 8/10/2012

Weekend Preview: 8/10/2012 Rat City plays their first ever games against Steel City and DC this weekend -- and plays a rubber match against an old foe in Charm City. Photo: Axle Adams.

Top WFTDA / MRDA Action

(6) Rat City @ DC (Friday), (6) Rat City @ (7) Charm City (Saturday), (19) Steel City vs (6) Rat City (Sunday) — The third edition of a unique East / West rivalry takes place in Baltimore this weekend as the key bout in a three-game trip for Rat City.

Both times that Rat City and Charm City have previously matched up, their games have been deeply odd and quite contentious. Their first meeting in the opening game of 2009’s East Coast Derby Extravaganza started with a 24-0 Rat City lead being followed by a 10 minute power outage and ended with a hugely controversial last jam desperation foul and subsequent expulsion that won the game for Charm, 122-119. When they met again during a 2010 Pacific Northwest swing for Charm City, Rat was triumphant 145-103 in a game that saw Charm lose a number of key players to expulsions and foulouts. Saturday will be the first time Charm City has hosted Rat; Rat City has not played Steel City or DC previously. Neither the Steel City game or the DC game are open to the general public.

While Rat City got a relatively late start to their season, not playing their first all-star game until June, it doesn’t seem to have hampered them too much — their 4-2 record is marred only by close losses to DNN #3 Bay Area and DNN #12 Rose City. Charm City, for their part, has gotten off to one of the best starts in their history at 6-2, and also had a recent close loss against a top-five team when they lost to DNN #4 Philly by 28.

Rat City v Charm City live courtesy of Charm City Roller Girls. Action begins at 5:30pm Eastern on Saturday, August 11 with undercard of CCRG Female Trouble vs Garden State.

(5 MRDA) St. Louis Gatekeepers @ (3 MRDA) New York Shock Exchange — One of the biggest rematches ever in men’s derby goes down this Saturday in Coney Island as two-time MDC/MRDA champions New York Shock Exchange go up against the St. Louis GateKeepers. In 2011, the GateKeepers handed the long-established NYSE their first loss ever at Spring Roll, 158-138; this year, in a rematch on the same turf, New York took a tremendously controversial last-jam victory to squeak by 131-125. The rubber match here comes as both teams are jockeying for position before the MRDA releases the September rankings that will determine which 8 teams qualify for the 2012 MRDA Championships, which will be hosted by St. Louis on October 20 and 21. The MRDA game is the first half of a doubleheader for a Gotham Girls intraleague match, as the Bronx Gridlock and defending GGRD champs Brooklyn Bombshells play for the right to meet the Manhattan Mayhem in Gotham’s local championship. Full NYSE / STL preview and Brooklyn / Bronx preview from Thomas Gerbasi on gothamgirlsrollerderby.com.

Cincinnati @ (17) Boston — The East’s Boston hosts the North Central’s Cincinnati in Boston’s last game before the East playoffs in late September. After a strong middle season that saw Boston pick up 5 wins in a row — including nail biters over Dutchland, Carolina and Arizona — Boston’s dropped their last two to Charm City and Montreal and currently sits at 5-3 on the year. Cincinnati continues to seek to regain their strong form of the 2010 season, but has had trouble keeping momentum in the last couple of years — their most recent game was a 150-93 loss to regional rivals Chicago Outfit, a team they beat by 20 points just two months ago in June.

DC @ (4) Philly — After playing their closed bout against Rat City on Friday, DC trucks it up to Philadelphia to take on the Liberty Belles. Both teams are on a recent roll, with DC piling up 8 wins in a row dating back to March while Philly has won 4 straight WFTDA games in a row against teams that qualified for Championships last year (Rose City, Minnesota, Rocky Mountain and Charm City). With Philly’s strength of schedule considerably tougher than DC’s, Philly comes in as a significant favorite, but the weekend provides DC with a major gut check before entering the East playoffs on September 28 as the bottom seed of 10.

General WFTDA Action

South Central: Ohio (#24 DNN, 5NC WFTDA) heads out of region to play Hard Knox (18SC), Albuquerque’s Duke City (12SC) faces OK Victory Dolls (15SC) for the third time this year after beating them 141-118 and 236-84 during January’s Governor’s Cup; Oklahoma City (29SC) goes to Beaumont, TX to play Spindletop (31SC); and 23SC Alamo City goes to unranked Red Stick (Baton Rouge, LA).

North Central: Unranked Black-N-Bluegrass (Latonia, KY) visits 31NC Southern Illinois in a rematch of a May bout in which Black-N-Bluegrass brutalized So Ill by a final of 411-10.

East: Buffalo’s Queen City, hanging on to 12E after a 2 point win over 23E Roc City followed by a 3 point win over 13E Dominion in July, travels to Pennsylvania to take on 32E Harrisburg, who are weathering a tough 0-5 2012.