D1S: (10) Toronto Lights Up (6) Boston, 204-198

D1S: (10) Toronto Lights Up (6) Boston, 204-198 Photo: Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

SALEM, OR–After Boston’s down-to-the-wire loss to 3-seed Rat City last night, they might have been expected to take 10-seed Toronto handily–but C.N. Power had very different plans. They dominated the Massacre in the game’s opening minutes and then settled into a groove of back-and-forth play in which the scoreboard fluctuated with the penalties, as both teams gave up frequent power jams.

In the end, though, it came down to steely nerves; Boston called their last team time-out with a minute to go in the game but must have wished heartily for it back as the Toronto jammer called off the jam with four seconds on the clock and a mere six-point lead. That was the game, though, and Toronto secured themselves a place in tomorrow’s fifth-place game with a 204-198 win.

Toronto held Boston scoreless for the first five minutes of the game but a power jam gave Lil Paine the opportunity to equalise the score before Motorhead Molly returned to play–and to push into an 18-15 lead with seven minutes gone. It didn’t last long, though, as Toronto retook the lead in the very next jam–and stretched their margin to 44-19 by the 11-minute mark, when Boston called an official review to contest a no-point-no-penalty.

Shark Week pushed Boston into a five-point lead at 49-44 with 16:40 to play–and then Lil Paine had a power jam with a 4-3 pack advantage, which she parsed into eight points before Motorhead Molly’s penalty expired. She called it off as Molly approached to score, leaving it at 61-44 at the halfway point of the period.

Bambi picked up lead jammer status next time out but Anna Wrecksya stifled her as she went for a first scoring pass, repeatedly recycling her back–although Bambi still picked up all four points before calling it off as the Boston jammer approached.

Bad Person committed a high block at the ten-minute mark to give Ballerina a power jam–and she promptly turned that into a lead change, 73-61, and inspired Boston to call a team timeout in an attempt to regroup.

It didn’t work, though, as Toronto continued to outscore Boston over the next five minutes–and then Maya Mangleyou landed in the penalty box with the Boston star. The power jam didn’t last long, though, as Bambi picked up a forearm penalty to free Maya. Both jammers struggled with three- and four-walls on their return to play and at the conclusion of the full-length jam, Toronto led 88-77 with four minutes left in the half.

Ginger Kid struggled with the Toronto defence as she took the star–but Ballerina landed in the penalty box as Ginger was still on her initial pass a minute into the jam. She finally made it out and reapproached the pack, where she passed the star to Bad Person–who added five before committing a penalty of her own, a high block, leaving it at 92-82 in Toronto’s favour as she headed to the box with 90 seconds to go.

Bad Person struggled with the Toronto defence when she returned to play in the next and Toronto took a 103-86 lead into halftime–as well as something of a moral victory, as a skating out of bounds penalty called on their jammer in the closing seconds of the half was overturned on official review.

Space Invader had a power jam four minutes into the period but couldn’t make much of it; devastating defence from Candy Crossbones, Smasher and especially Mega Mouth slowed her scoring … but it was a three-point game at the jam’s conclusion, and Maya Mangleyou put it within one point at 106-107 in Toronto’s favour next time out.

Toronto seemed content to nickel and dime their way into a more comfortable lead, pulling their score up in 2s, 3s and 4s as Boston found themselves in blocker penalty trouble. With ten minutes gone the margin was 14 at 122-108–and then Shark Week landed in the penalty box for a cut. Dusty turned that opportunity into 15 points as Boston’s blockers took turns visiting Shark Week in the sin bin, and called it off with 18 minutes left at 137-108 Toronto.

Space Invader made a risky choice to continue skating as Ballerina was also scoring–but the decision paid off in spades, letting her close the gap to 152-129 before a hit to the infield forced her to call it off. Boston then called an official review, claiming dangerous skating on the part of a Toronto skater, stopping the clock at 13:47.

It didn’t mark a shift in momentum, though; Maya Mangleyou cut her way to the box with the Boston star–only to be followed by Bambi on a cut of her own. That jam left the game within a handful of points, with Boston trailing Toronto 155-149 with 11:30 to play.

Shark Week picked up an elbow call next time out as Dusty scored–but with a 4-1 pack disadvantage, she had a tough time with the Boston defence, and was unable to escape the pack on a scoring pass before Shark Week returned to play and completed her initial pass, forcing the call-off at 159-149 Toronto with 10 on the clock.

Lil Paine retook the lead for Boston a minute later–and then Ballerina landed in the box, leaving Lil Paine to cement the margin despite having only Anna Wrecksya out there as support. Toronto put up 4 in the jam, but it was still 177-163 in Boston’s favour at 7:30. Space Invader finished out the power jam and picked up lead jammer status with the aid of just two blockers; she’d added five before Ballerina returned to play and called it off after adding four more.

Maya Mangleyou committed a back block on her initial pass next time out and Bambi dragged her team right back into the lead with four minutes left to play, 188-186. Ballerina backed that up with a quick lead jammer call and four of her own, then coasted to burn a little time off the clock before calling it off as Shark Week approached to score. Boston called their second team time-out at that point to stop the clock with 3:05 to play.

A quickly-recycling Boston defence held Dusty and let Lil Paine out for lead jammer status; with full packs on both sides, Paine brought it within two points as Dusty passed the star to Bruiseberry Pie–but Dusty matched it, making it 200-194 as the jam expired with one minute left on the clock and Boston called their last timeout.

Bambi picked up lead jammer status but Space Invader was only 20 feet back; with a 2-1 pack advantage, Bambi made short work of a first scoring pass and called it off with four seconds on the clock–but Boston had no timeouts up their sleeve and the game was over with Toronto 204-198 victors and a date with Victoria for fifth place.