RICHMOND,VA–Fighting for the right to play for 5th, the fifth-seeded Kansas City squared off with ninth-seeded New Hampshire in the 11th game of the WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs in Richmond, Virginia. The two teams could not have arrived at the bout through more different routes; Kansas City are previous WFTDA champions who made it out of the South Central region every year to the Championship tournament, while New Hampshire were making a surprising maiden playoff appearance.
Experience paid in the reckoning, though: the Warriors came out to play and took the win handily. New Hampshire, whose play had been very conservative so far this weekend in their previous games, showed an aggressive side to their game that saw them lose two skaters to injury and two to foul-outs in a 272-123 loss.
The game started with Kansas City’s Case Closed taking the line alongside New Hampshire’s Swirko. Case almost got out with lead but Chicka Chicka Bam Bam knocked her out and pulled her back. Swirko got lead for New Hampshire but was sent off for a cut before scoring. Case capitalized on the early power jam to bring the Warriors out to an early 19-0 lead.
After a quick 4-0, the third jam saw the advantage go the other way. Mary Lou Wretched was sent off for a forearm on her initial pass, giving the second power jam of the game to Chicana Bruzya. Bruzya had a little trouble at the hands of Kansas City Captain Trauma and was limited to 10 points. 23-10, Kansas City
With a 3-2 pack, New Hampshire’s Madame Scurrie was almost through but was sent off for a cut, giving another power jam to Kansas City’s Reptar. She took advantage of a 4-2 pack to put on 15 points before Scurrie returned. Reptar expanded Kansas City’s lead 42 to 10.
The jam after that, Bella Fire gave a good offensive clear for Case Closed, but Case slipped. She managed to make up for lost time, getting lead and 4 before calling it off. She reported to the medics immediately after the jam and was seen on the bench tending what appeared to be a busted lip. 46-10, Kansas City.
A couple small scores for Kansas City dragged their lead out to 53-10, just 10 minutes into the game.
A much needed New Hampshire power jam made things appear to be turning around, but Kansas City’s Enigma and Bruz-her forced a cut on Madam Scurrie as the jam expired. She had managed to lessen the gap 55-28, but gave another power jam to Kansas City.
A 19 point power jam for Case Closed brought that lead back to 76-28.
After that, the power jam exchange continued, with Track Rat sent off for a forearm 20 seconds into the next jam. Swirko called it off when Track Rat stood, having put on 15. 76-43, Kansas City with 13:37 remaining in the half.
Track Rat got lead and points on her return owing to some strong defense, 78-44 Kansas City.
Chicana Bruzya got sent off for a forearm leading to Mary Lou Wretched enjoying the 7th power jam in the first 20 minutes. Wretched widened the gap but was delayed by a long recycle by Liv N Fear. Kansas City, with a 3-2 pack, had no difficulty holding Bruzya on her return. Wretched finished with 25 points on that jam. 103-44 Kansas City
After 2 jams yielding only a single Kansas City point, Chickana Bruzya busted out for New Hampshire’s first lead in 5 jams. Bruzya looked to close the gap and put up 10, with Track Rat stuck in the pack.
Kansas City got the upper hand in a series of three back-and-forth jams, bringing the score to 116-58, with just over 2 minutes remaining in the half.
A back block by Bruzya turned a New Hampshire advantage into a Case Closed power jam. The case wasn’t quite closed, however, as Case Closed left on a low block shortly thereafter. Chicana returned to the track, having already done her intial pass and got 4 more. 116-67 Kansas City
A track cut by Madam Scurrie in the final jam of the half allowed Reptar to nudge the Kansas City lead to 121 over 67 going into the break.
The second half got underway with Case Closed stepping up to the line unopposed, with Madam Scurrie sitting in the box. She squeezed through the pack until she fired out the front for lead jammer. New Hampshire’s pivot, Rage of Aquarius, took a bad fall as Case made her first scoring pass. Rage was assisted to the medic station holding her lower back and did not return to the game. Case did get 5 points before the injury time out, and she returned to the line for the next jam, Madam Scurrie still seated. She got 5 more on the next power jam. Two more light scoring jams brought the score to 136-67. New Hampshire was held scoreless until they called an official review with 26:46 remaning.
As they returned, New Hampshire’s Punky stepped up to the line for her first time wearing the star all weekend. Matched up against Reptar with a full pack, Punky got caught behind a rear wall but pushed back to the front. She couldn’t pull it off, though, and Reptar took lead. In a stroke of luck, Reptar got sent off for a track cut, giving Punky a power jam, her first time out. New Hampshire played passive and let her fresh legs push Kansas City’s blockers out of play on her three scoring passes to make it 140-82.
After 4 short jams, the score 156-82 Kansas City, Trauma took the star for the first time in the game. She found success and got lead quickly, letting it run for two more scoring passes each, calling it off once Swirko got ahead. Track Rat showed a similar inclination in the next jam, bringing the score to 183-94 and showing their commitment to killing the clock.
Two more quick jams allowed Kansas City to drag their lead to 190-94, while holding New Hampshire scoreless. Chickana Bruzya looked to turn things around after that, and got lead, but let it run long enough for Trauma to overtake her and get two scoring passes to her one as she struggled in the pack. To put an emphasis on her error, Bruzya was sent off for a track cut, leaving a Kansas City a power jam leading to a 214-98 Kansas City lead with 12:30 left. During the course of that jam New Hampshire lost their second player of the night as Pammy Decker fouled out.
A series of short jams brought the score to 222-105, while the clock ticked down and the game pulled out of New Hampshire’s reach. New Hampshire Captain Emma Donnelly fouled out during the last of those–and as she left, she was escorted back to the locker room by Madame Scurrie who ruled herself out due to injury. That reduced New Hampshire to ten active skaters to close out the bout.
The run of short jams continued, interrupted by a couple New Hampshire time outs, to try to regroup. The score was 238-111 with just over 4 minutes remaining, as Kansas City committed to burning clock.
Kansas City spent the next two jams with small scores and allowed New Hampshire a chance to score, with the gam clock running. It 258-119 Kansas City, with under two minutes remaining.
Trauma danced down the inside to get lead before hitting turn one in the last jam. She was recycled on her second scoring pass, but let the jam run, making it clear that it was the last jam. Kansas City put it away 272-123 and will face the winner of Jacksonville vs Terminal City for 5th place at 2pm EDT on Sunday.