Jan 16, 2019 | Bout News

This Bout About to Glow preview

This Saturday, the MNRG completes their round-robin tournament as the unstoppable Rockits take on the Dagger Dolls, while the Garda Belts clash against the resurgent Atomic Bombshells.

It's bout time, Minnesota.

Previously...

December was a night of dominant teams as the Rockits scored 200 points on the Gardas in the second half alone. The Atomic Bombshells got better at just the right time, locking in excellent blocking and defeating the Dagger Dolls.

This Saturday!

The teams of the MNRG have one bout left before the standings for the semis are locked in. In February, second and third will play for a slot in the March finals, while the fourth-seed team must play the first-seed to keep their Golden Skate hopes alive.

What you should know

The matchups in January

The Rockits (2-0) vs the Dagger Dolls (0-2)

The Rockits are riding high (while staying low on their skates) this season. JoJo Juk'Em is having a breakout season, and Rockit vet Jacked Pipes piles on points, seeming to allow fewer jammers score against her by the game.

RockitPod 1 (blocking team Surly Bird, Rhea Volt, N'ext Jen, Hater Tot, and Whacks) continues to do all the things to delay opposing jammers, while players in their second decade of roller derby - Meshugenough and Scarmen Hellectra - are…well, they just keep improving.

As of right now, they are the team to beat.

Enter the Dagger Dolls. This is a fresh team with talent to spare and - now - a few games together. The Dolls are going to do some damage Saturday…but to win against the Rockits, The Dagger Dolls have to do three things very well.

  1. Come together. In the sport, we talk about building shapes - three- or four-person walls that jammers have to press through or juke around. The Dolls are already able to create those walls; now they must maintain the shape, holding Rockit jammers until their own get through.
  2. Commit to their own scorers. It's a Dagger Doll truism that you'll see half of the team wear the star. This is fantastic as the team enters the season, but there's a point where you need to allow your jammers to figure out the opponent - and give them time to do so through the game. Taking a chance on Little Rascal or leaning on Whoopsie Daisy (who scored 31 points and took the lead three times over four opportunities) gives the Dolls more chances to score.
  3. Hold the edges. JoJo and Pipes love them an easy lead jam on the outer edge of the track. They took advantage of the ABS and Gardas setting up in the middle of the track to hold them back…and they veered and shot past. The Dolls need to watch the sides as the Rockits come at them…and then have enough blockers on the track at the jam start to stop 'em.

The Atomic Bombshells (1-1) vs the Garda Belts (1-1)

The Bombshells vs the Garda Belts will be this weekend's big game. Both teams enter the bout with a win apiece, both are looking to take second…and both are training up a whole new generation of their team.

So back to front - what do the Gardas need to win this one?

  • A third jammer must deliver on Saturday. Delilah Diamond and Switch Please are racking up the points for the Gardas. Winning teams generally have at least three high-scorers on their staff, and there are several right on the edge for the Gardas. Whether that's Baller (usually seen with the pivot helmet), Ida Sockher, La Vibora, or a rookie ready to put on the star, the Gardas need jammer #3 to step up for Saturday.
  • Separate the ABS from their leaders. The ABS have always had their veterans running the show from the middle of the pack. The Gardas need to go on offense, taking on the jammers but also making it hard for Stompy, Messi, D, and their captains C-Pain and Shotty to focus on anything but the Garda that's just stopped them AGAIN.
As for the Bombshells? Defending champs of the MNRG? They did all right in December, with six players who scored double digits in the December bout and Madame de Stompadour only allowing two points to get through when she took to the track. This performance was miles better than their first bout, and puts them in good standing for the February semi-finals.

Nonetheless, the Bombshells shouldn't overlook the approaching Garda threat.

  • Nail down the defense. A combination of clever jammers and a willingness to do what it takes to stop the other teams have been the hallmark of the ABS for the past six years. This time's no different; the Bombshells need to send their finest to stop the threat of Switch Please and scratch Delilah Diamond with a Diamond of their own. The threat level's high in this bout.
  • Every jam counts. The Bombshells took the lead on three-quarters of the jams in their bout against the Dolls. Their capacity to take the lead means that they control the rhythm of the game. Doing so will be critical in allowing the Bombshell jammer bench to pick the jams where they can get those multiple-lap, go-ahead jams.

The bigger picture

Next month, we enter the Golden Skate semi-finals, where the energy ratchets up; a loss in February means you're out of the running. So here's where the teams stand.

The Rockits have won both of their games by over a hundred points. They are now so far ahead (2 wins, +266 point differential) that knocking them out of first looks very, very difficult.

The Atomic Bombshells (1 win, -7 point differential) raised their game in December. A win of any kind will keep them in second and - yes - there's a very narrow road to first for the Bombshells.

The Garda Belts (1 win, -129 points) are in the hunt for second place. A win against the ABS will guarantee it. Their win against the Dagger Dolls in November will keep them in place for third UNLESS the Dagger Dolls pull an upset.

The Dagger Dolls (no wins, -130 point differential) need help. To stay out of the cellar, the Dolls must win against the Rockits…but they also need the Gardas to lose OR the ABS to lose badly.

Got that, everyone? Now…see you at the bout!

Note: technically, Camp Bar is two streets away.