D1R: (8) Jacksonville Overturns (6) No Coast, 213-125

D1R: (8) Jacksonville Overturns (6) No Coast, 213-125 Photo: Tom Klubens

RICHMOND, VA–The last time these two teams met, No Coast brought a three-jammer rotation featuring Megan Harrington (nee Flash Gloria), heavily. That game leaned in No Coast’s favour with each team steadily adding in points, No Coast’s point additions outweighing Jacksonville’s at every jam. This game was not to replicate that performance, as Jacksonville instead emphatically claimed the win, 213-125.

This bout would determine whether star jammer, Megan Harrington, would be able to replicate the stellar performance she put up the previous day. She made a shaky start, being sent off on a forearm penalty in the first few seconds of the game, handing Jacksonville’s Jamsterella a power jam that she took full advantage of. That made it 20-0 after the first jam–a lead Jacksonville never relinquished as Harrington picked up five more trips across the course of the game.

Crash Register used her powerjam start in the next jam to add on a further 2 points. And Ms Jax’Em took an easy early lead that Christy Johnson (who used to skate under the name Slam Anderson) couldn’t catch up to, placing Jacksonville ahead at 26 points, with no reply yet from No Coast.

A couple of no scoring jams later, in the sixth jam, Christy Johnson took No Coast’s first lead jammer call and added in 4 points. In contrast to yesterday’s game, Johnson seemed to be the only jammer for No Coast who could secure lead jammer status.

Jacksonville’s Nuke, in a blocking role, forced at least one cut on Johnson, with vivid expressions of vindication when the penalty was called.

Jacksonville then continued to work on the trend they had started, taking lead and controlling the point additions, slowly adding in points themselves, and holding off No Coast’s attempts at adding on more.

In fact, it wasn’t until the second quarter that No Coast was able to put up a further two points, taking the score to 86-6. No Coast inched a little closer, winding up at 90-13 with 10 minutes to go in the half–but then a massive 30 point power jam for Megan Harrington signalled the possibility that No Coast was well and truly back in the game.

That performance wasn’t to be repeated, though, with Jacksonville returning to carefully pushing up points returning for the rest of the half. The fastidious score management wasn’t reflected in game play, though, which took a speedy, scrappy and always hectic pace as dual defensive front-and-back lines formed, disintegrated and reformed.

Jacksonville took a substantial lead into the locker room at halftime with almost exactly double No Coast’s score at 109-54.

Jamsterella started off the second period well for Jacksonville ticking up a 17 point powerjam as Megan Harrington wound up in the box on a low block penalty–a call which was quickly questioned and upheld on an official review. Harrington then quickly nominated herself a blocker for the next jam as Ms. Jax’Em took lead and started adding points. It wasn’t until over 5 minutes back into the half that the next points went up on the board for No Coast.

No Coast’s Anna Cassube saw more track time in the second period, taking lead regularly, and on at least one occasion using her call from the floor, having snuck in an extra couple of points.

Penalties started to creep back up for both teams, especially for the sides’ most heavily utilised blockers–though Jacksonville kept things much cleaner than yesterday. Even captain Meow Mix, who fouled out yesterday, kept her penalties low; she skated plenty but kept it clean, with only a single multi-player block to mar her run.

Megan Harrington then repeated her penalty-laden run with two penalties in a single jam. She first picked up a direction of gameplay penalty and was sprung from the box by a penalty on Ms. Jax’Em–but on her return to play, she quickly committed a track cut and found herself sharing the penalty box with the Jacksonville jammer for long seconds in the tenth minute of the second half.

A final track cut landed her dangerously close to fouling out with still 12 minutes left in the game and No Coast debuted a fresh Beth Kempf in the final 5 minutes of the game to replace her in their three-jammer rotation.

At the end of the third game quarter, Jacksonville’s Lei Toro took a tumble that required medical attention, but she returned unaided directly to the box before being replaced by a substitute skater as she sat out her three-jam exclusion in comparative good spirits.

But this wasn’t to deter Jacksonville, as even a decent point addition for No Coast in the 15th jam of the half couldn’t crack the 100 or so points between them. Jacksonville maintained and gently widened that gap through the final minutes of the half, despite Jamsterella adding in her only two penalties of the game in the final jam, to take a comfortable win and a seedings upset, with 213-125.