D1S 5th: (8) Victoria Bounds By (10) Toronto, 208-124

D1S 5th: (8) Victoria Bounds By (10) Toronto, 208-124 Photo: Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

SALEM, OR–The all-international fifth-place bout was spectacularly evenly matched in the first half, with several lead changes and a halftime score of 75 apiece. But the Australian side ran away with it in the second half, outpacing Toronto 133-49–with those points mostly limited to power jams–to take the win 208-124.

Mad Mel Arena drew first blood with a 3-0 over Motorhead Molly but Bambi and Swish Cariboom proved evenly matched the next time out–they were neck and neck leaving the pack but Swish gained a half-lap after Bambi wiped out on the apex. Victoria sped up to burn off some blocker penalty time and Swish eked out a single point to make it 4-0 with three minutes gone.

G-Banger ran for a natural grand slam before getting called on a high block on her second pass just as Dusty finally made it out of the pack. Tui Lyon and Calamity Maim proved nearly as effective stopping Dusty on her scoring pass as they had on her initial, and at the jam’s conclusion the score was tied, 10-all with 24:50 on the clock. Ballerina took the lead for Toronto with a 5-0 next time out.

A Toronto waterfall kept Skate Bush in the pack despite a 3-2 pack advantage and Motorhead Molly snatched two to make it 17-10 and Bambi added one the next time out; both times the jammers were forced to settle for only partial passes with Victorian jammers hot on their heels.

it was then a power jam for Dusty after Toronto forced a cut on Swish and she put up 10-0 with 11 minutes gone, leaving CN Power at 28 to Victoria’s 10–and three minutes later, Toronto had doubled their score to 56 while holding the Australians scoreless.

Victoria called a timeout then and when play resumed, Mad Mel picked up a much-needed lead call–and after chasing down a racing pack, four points to make it 56-14. Skate Bush backed that up with three of her own–and then Swish added four.

The mini-surge ended when G-Banger committed a back block; Bambi struggled with a 3-2 pack disadvantage and physical defence from the Victorian front wall, but made two passes before G-Banger returned to the track making it 66-21 with 11 minutes left in the half.

The sides traded low-scoring jams over the next few minutes but then Mad Mel Arena found herself on a power jam after Bambi committed a forearm penalty, joining a pair of her blocks in the box. Mel made it 38-70 Toronto and called it off to freeze Bambi in the box with 6 minutes remaining. Swish made an initial pass before Bambi returned to play then lapped Bambi as Tui Lyon pushed her to the outside. That put the game within a jam’s reach at 70-48.

Skate Bush made a natural grand slam on Bala-Reina who struggled with Ruby Ribcrusher and Rocky–and then found herself penalised; Bush settled for 10 before calling the jam to send in fresh legs in Mad Mel. With just two Toronto blockers out there, Mel made a quick initial pass but Candy Crossbones slowed her first scoring run. Two points separated the teams as Bala-Reina returned to play and Mel finished her pass to take the lead 73-70… only to pick up a forearm penalty as Toronto passed the star seconds before the jam expired. The next jam went 5-2 in Toronto’s favour, sending the sides tied into halftime.

Toronto broke the tie with a Dinah Hurchu 4-0 over a micropack in the second jam–but Swish Cariboom matched it next time out to tie the score again.

Victoria went with small point additions over the next few jams–but Skate Bush put up natural grand slams, forcing the Toronto jammer to to Bruiseberry Pie along the way. Bruiseberry picked up a major forearm then to give Mad Mel Arena a power jam next time out; Mel pushed Victoria past the century mark then picked up a forearm penalty of her own. That jam made it 114 Victoria, 88 Toronto with 21 minutes left in the game.

Toronto closed with a 7-0 run for Bambi–but then Swish Cariboom had a power jam to open it back up with a 15-0 before Dusty returned to play after her cutting penalty, leaving Victoria leading 129-95 at the 17-minute mark.

Victoria had a few more low-scoring jams before Swish again found herself on a power jam after a penalty on Candy Crossbones and gave Victoria a 60-point margin, 156-65 with 13 minutes to play.

Next time out G-Banger had a big run, skating patiently to add 12; Candy Crossbones struggled to make an initial pass and wound up handing the star off, but to no avail as Toronto were still held scoreless.

Bambi picked up a critical lead jammer status next time out and she put up three natural grand slams as mega Mouth and Bruiseberry Pie held Mad Mel in the pack on an initial pass–and then Mel cut the track, joining two of her blockers in the box. That 24-point run put Toronto over the century mark and ended Victoria’s 93-20 run over the first twenty minutes of the half.

Mad Mel looked to strike back in a power jam over Bala-Reina next time out–but Toronto smartly forced a track cut on her, freeing Bala-Reina with 30 seconds left on the jam clock. When the jam timed out with Mel still seated, there were six minutes left on the clock and Victoria led 171-119.

Bambi got stifled by Victoria’s defence and Mel zoomed out of the penalty box to pick up lead jammer status, a natural grand slam and then three more points before calling it off as Bambi escaped the pack, making it 179-119 with four minutes to go.

A track cut call on Motorhead Molly with three minutes gone seemed likely to signal the end of the game–but Swish committed a track of her own, freeing Molly. A 3-2 pack advantage gave Molly five points before Swish returned and played a little defence on the Toronto jammer; Toronto then called an official review, the first of the game, to request a points check, stopping the clock at 1:28 with Victoria leading 188-124.

Skate Bush closed out the game with a power jam after Dusty picked up a forearm call; facing a 4-1 pack advantage, she opted to continue skating for points rather than taking the conservative route of bleeding the remaining time off the clock. She added a last pass as the period clock expired and Dusty returned to play, then called it off to secure a 208-124 win and fifth place in the tournament.