Municipal Auditorium-Saturday, June 27th
The last time we were here, The Knockouts were taking home the trophy, The Susans were congratulating them on a game well played, and The Dorothys lost, as they had done all season, the The Vixens. What a difference a year makes.
This season, The Dorothys have fought their way out of the basement with The Vixens hot on their heels, The Knockouts were within striking distance of the number two spot and The Susans tail behind with only two wins. This season has been far from boring.
Last years champions, The Knockouts, had an amazing season last year. They were undefeated and seemingly unstoppable. This season...things have not gone their way. With only two wins, it's hard to believe that they were seven points away from the number two spot. Now they fight to maintain third place.
The Black Eye Susans were in second place last year. This year they've been in the basement all season. They did manage to make it to third place after the May 2nd game when they beat The Victory Vixens and The Dorothys beat The Knockouts. That was short lived because they lost to The Knockouts in the May 30th game. It's difficult to say exactly what happened between seasons because their two wins have been against The Vixens and The Dorothys and while they were in the number one position. They have strong players and seasoned leadership; I guess this just wasn't their year.
I asked both captains for a pre-game prediction. Mary Lou Wretched-"Since they've picked up Turtle Power, we're not letting our guard down. We're going to go out there and hopefully do what we did last time."
Tuff Noogies-"It'll be close. I'm feeling pretty good about it. With Turtle I think we'll have a deeper jammer rotation and I'm hoping to keep the penalties under control and for a better point spread."
It's interesting that both captains mention recent acquisition Turtle Power who transferred in from Salina and Veteran City and played her first game with The Susans in the last Underground game of the season against The Dorothys. She had a 25 point power jam.
The Susans were skating without Estee Slaughter and Peter Babriel and The Knockouts were missing Jamalamadingdong.
With the game under way, there were a few lead changes early in the first period. Love Tap, Reptar and Turtle Power were doing their best against the Teal Defense but by Halftime The Knockouts were leading 111 to 79.
Mary Lou Wretched and company kept the pressure on through the second half and managed to maintain their third place standing with a final score of 173 to 158. This was Tuff Noogies' farewell game. After seven seasons she's hanging up her skates to pursue other interests. I'm sure she'll be missed by fans and skaters alike. We here at The Wheel Press wish her only the best.
The Victory Vixens have had an interesting season. At the beginning, it looked as though they would be unbeatable but then The Susans put a stop to that streak and the The Dorothys took them to task. Still, they managed to hang on to the number two spot.
The comeback story of the year has to be The Dreadnought Dorothys. Last season they lost every game. This season they are in the number one spot going in to The Rink of Fire. When I asked team captain Erin No Bragh about the secret of their success, she had this to say-"We got some fantastic people in the drafts, but great individuals do not a team make. I believe some major factors were dedication and camaraderie. We consistently had the highest attendance at scrimmages and these girls work incredibly hard. What I find very interesting is that with Hash injured all season, we do not have a single first string All-Star blocker. Our defense comes from playing as one, which was our focus from the first day.
Things I never could have trained into the team that happened naturally are the generosity and genuine friendships that have formed. People paid for each others uniforms and team dinner during Restaurant Week. One girl is a massage therapist and gives free 90 minute massages despite her hectic schedule. We support each other through injuries, illnesses, tough games. We bond off skates, which I have always believed, helps on the track. I would love to take credit for our successes (along with my fantastic co-captains Buffy and Hash), but I think a lot of it is that I got lucky with some alignment of talented skaters and literal blood, sweat and tears. Usually happy tears, thankfully! But whenever we've had disputes within the team-because in any group of strong women there will always be a few differences of opinion-we've discussed it and moved past it to what really matters. And every person matters, including bench staff. We also make sure to give everyone far more than the required four jams in as many games as possible, because experience develops skaters and strengthens teams."
The Vixens were skating without Hydrogen Bombshell, Remy Killjoy, Shannibal Lecter, Sheeza Riot and Track Rat while The Dorothys were only missing Road Hash.
Rump Wrecker's pre-game prediction was-"No predictions, just really excited. We've spent the day getting mentally prepared and we're just going to go give it our all."
Erin No Bragh-"I think it'll be close. We usually play really well at Municipal. I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to jinx us."
The first period was definitely a defensive game. By halftime The Vixens were barely ahead 79 to 74.
The offense really started going to work in the second period as The Vixens widened the margin and brought home the trophy-138 to 124. Congratulations to The Victory Vixens. "Our success not only (tonight), but this entire season is the result of team work. We play to each other's strengths and trust one another."-Rump Wrecker.
This concludes the 2015 home season. Don't forget to tune in on July 11th as The All-Stars and Plan B take a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on No Coast. On July 12th, The Junior Warriors will be going to Iowa as they take on The Des Moines Derby Brats. Don't worry folks, there's still plenty of derby action to get you through the summer.
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