Saturday, April 19 saw the tenth Rink of Fire. It's amazing to think that it's been going on that long. For those of you coming in late to this party, every year at this time, the KCRW home teams have their championship game to wrap up the home season and see who's going to skate away with the trophy. The line up is decided by the results of the season's game play.
The opening festivities kicked off at Municipal Auditorium, where over 1600 derby fans were congregated to see their favorite teams one last time for the season. Local favorite Adam Stafford performed the National Anthem and the guest opening whistle blower was David "Chipper" Vaughan. Chipper played derby with the San Diego Clippers from 1956 to '57 before enlisting in the armed forces and serving his country until retirement (he shares a birthday with Bonita Bandita—more on her later).
Bout number one was between the Dreadnought Dorothys and the Victory Vixens. The Dorothys come in to the Rink Of Fire with a record of 0-3 and the Vixens are 1-3 with that victory being the last time they played the Dorothys back in January. The Dorothys are looking for a little payback. As Denouncer Dewayne and the crowd counts down and Chipper blows the whistle starting the game, the Dreadnought Dorothys came out of the gate looking for scalps.
In the first jam, they completely shut down the Vixens offense and put 12 points on the board. It didn't take long, however, for Ruth Canal to rally her troops and take control of the game. By the fourth jam, the Vixens pulled ahead and kept the hammer down. By half time, the score was Victory Vixens-95 Dreadnought Dorothys-58. The Dorothys came back and put up a good fight but they never regained their lead. The final score was Vixens 180, Dorothys 148.
After a brief half time that included a marching band and a children's fun run, the action was ready to resume as the fight for the trophy was about to begin. The Black Eye Susans won the trophy for the first time last year. They have only lost one game this season, and that was when they played the Knockouts, who have not lost a game all season and have never won the Rink of Fire. This promised to be anything but boring.
Both teams showed up ready to play and it definitely showed on the scoreboard. Neither team really enjoyed a lead until around the 16th jam when the Knockouts finally held a 55 to 51 lead. That was fairly short lived though as the school yard bullies went into half time with a lead of 64 to 58. Things continued much as they had in the first half, but the Knockouts managed to take and hold the lead.
With memories of last year's miracle pull from behind victory, the Susans were not about to give up hope and neither was the crowd. Annie Maul and the rest of her team must have had those same memories, because they were working hard to make sure it didn't happen again. By the time the whistle blew and the smoke cleared, the Knockouts had maintained their season long undefeated record with a final score of 134 to 99.
Congratulations to the Knockouts on their first Rink of Fire victory! To sum up the 2014 home season:
1. The Knock Outs
2. The Black Eye Susans
3. The Victory Vixens
4. The Dreadnought Dorothys
With the end of the season comes that time of the year when we say goodbye and wish well the Roller Warriors who pursue life outside of the rink. This year's retirees are:
On a positive note, ladies, have you ever been to a game and thought it looked like fun? Thought to yourself, I wonder how I can get involved with this? There's still plenty of time before next season to work on your skating skills. Just send an email to WrecK@kcrollerwarriors.com and there's every possibility you could be playing in next seasons rookie bout.
Think the season's over? Think again—we're just hitting our stride. May 2-4, the All Stars are going to Eugene Oregon to compete in The Big O Tournament and then the All Stars and Plan B will be back at Winnwood Skate Center to take on St. Louis on May 18. You know you don't want to miss this!