Saturday, May 11 at the Cincinnati Gardens was a tale of two very different games, but they both had the same ending: Cincinnati wins.
Violent Lambs vs. Dire Skates Recap
It was Scout & Kids night at the historic Cincinnati Gardens, and the Violent Lambs definitely earned their Beatdown patches, as they routed Richmond, IN’s Dire Skates 517 to 122. This one was never in doubt, as Dire Skates showed up to the venue with 10 skaters which means they had enough players to fill two full jams (four blockers and one jammer apiece). This meant there wasn’t a lot of down time for their players to recoup on the sidelines, and Cincinnati’s constant hitting and speed skating barrage, visibly fatigued Dire Skates. Cincinnati tried to let off the gas in the second half by having their blockers jam, but the Lambs’ attitudes never changed, as their blocking did not wane one iota.
The Lambs were hitting on all cylinders in this game across the board. Annie Tomical had a fantastic game and is developing amongst this squad that is heavy with veterans; make no mistake, though, she is a very hands-on learner as she was constantly peppering the other team with hits. Poppy Chulo and Cherry Choke are two blue-collar workers on the track like Laverne and Shirley (and make fun of opposing teams off the track like Statler and Waldorf). Cherry makes everyone around her better, and Poppy has really developed some power in her hitting this season.
Speaking of hitting, La Bruja continues to drill people with the fury of a young Mike Tyson. I am calling it right now, this is your rookie of the year and to steal a line from Donovan, its going to be the Season of the Witch. Finally, Railroad wasn’t handing merit badges but definitely sent some of the opposing skaters home with some fresh bruises. While we are used to seeing her smash people she also had a huge 27-point jam, to which I say CHOO CHOO!!!
In the jammer rotation, Hot Slice looked also great in this game and I really hope this is a sign that she is returning to full strength as she scored 109 points on 5 jams and obtained lead jammer status each time she wore the star. Bombtrack did what Bombtrack does in this one, which means she would eat monster shots, but still blast through packs to get points. Seriously, if the track were lined with bear traps, she would keep rolling forward with at least one on each leg and be totally unfazed.
Watch the game online on icrctv.com.
Black Sheep vs. Toronto CN Power Recap
The second game was an international affair as the Sheep tussled with Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power. In the past few seasons, Cincinnati have been extremely slow starters, but not in this one though as the Sheep came out hot. That being said, CN Power always kept this one within striking distance and remained calm, using Cincinnati’s penalty minutes against them. Team Canada member Motorhead Molly was incredible to watch in this one as her mix of sprinting and lateral movement was astounding. The second half was filled with some of the fastest derby I can remember seeing in the past few years, as both teams were setting a pace that would make Seabiscuit break a sweat. With less then two minutes left in the bout CN Power was only down by 17 points, but Kitten Kicker saved the day by forcing Candy Crossbones to take a track cut to sink the final nail in Toronto’s coffin.
Obviously when closely matched teams play, it’s going to be up to the big name players for each team to make big time plays to get the win. A speed game is a K Lethal game, and she shined in this one. Since Toronto wanted to race the packs instead of focusing on stall blocking, K was able to carve her way through packs like Hit Girl through a gang of mercenaries. candyKICKass! Nuk’em and Buckhead Betty really stuck out in this game as well, as whenever they could get a body on Toronto’s jammers, they would use their speed against them, rocketing them off the track with bone jarring hits. It’s simple science folks: Things that are moving fast getting hit by things that are moving fast with bad intentions equal some incredibly violent collisions that are fun to watch.
And finally, this was the game that things truly clicked for Kitten Kicker. Kitten is an athletic stand out but has had trouble finding her role on the Sheep. Originally they tried to work her in as a third jammer, but one-two punch of K and Wheezy was yielding better results then a three-woman rotation. Now Cincinnati has been plugging Kitten into the pack and she had hands down the best game of her career on Saturday night. She was in the right place at the right time seemingly every second of the game. She was constantly making contact with the opposing team’s jammers and doing everything she could to open the door for her own point scorer.
How great was Kitten in this game? With a surging Toronto knocking on the door and Candy Kickass in the box, CRG could only field three blockers and they sent out Nuk’em, Betty, and Kitten. Those are some big name players to be rubbing shoulders with and again, it was Kitten who saved the day by forcing CN Power’s jammer to take a track cut on that jam. Way to go kid, you’re moving up the ladder and could be a very important cog in the Sheep machine once the playoffs arrive this Fall. Good job, Kitten.
Watch the game online on icrctv.com.
On June 1, the Black Sheep travel to Milwaukee for the annual Brewhaha tournament where they will lock horns with Arizona and old rivals, Grand Raggidy. It’s sad to say, but we are down to the final game of the year on Saturday June 8, when Tri-City comes to town, also from the Great White North. Can CRG keep their winning streak going? Can the Lambs and Sheep both go undefeated at home? And what will Sadie wear to top her Statue of Liberty boutfit for intros (I am praying for a one woman Mount Rushmore with 3 additional cardboard heads). To get the answers to these questions you are going to have to plunk down $10 (or $15 if you want those super sweet track side seats) to find out.
Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Dire Skates Stats
Ruthless Chris – 137 (12.45 points per jam)
Bombtrack – 110 (22 points per jam)
Hot Slice – 109 (21.8 points per jam)
Stubborn Itch – 56 (5.6 points per jam)
DJ Smear-O – 29 (4.83 points per jam)
Emily KickNSum – 20 (2.22 points per jam)
Violent Lambs – 29
Dire Skates – 27
Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Toronto CN Power Stats
K. Lethal – 180 (9 points per jam)
Wheezy – 29 (1.61 points per jam)
Sadistic Sadie – 8 (2.67 points per jam)
Motorhead Molly – 68 (6.18 points per jam)
Dusty – 56 (5.09 points per jam)
Candy Crossbones – 27 (3.38 points per jam)
Black Sheep – 33
CN Power – 23