If the roller derby doubleheader at Selkirk College on Friday, Aug. 9 was an indicator of things to come, Rossland is going to be rocking on Sunday, Sept. 8 when the 4th Annual Mountain Mayhem Tournament gets underway.
After a rousing rendition of O’ Canada by 11-year-old Molly Jamin (aka: Maul-Doll), the Rossland Trail Roller Girls went up against the Valley Vendettas in the first set of bouts to help determine which four teams will be going to the Rossland finals.
RTRG had the luxury of eight more skaters than their opponents in the first bouts of the evening but despite being outnumbered, the Vendettas put on a spirited display of determination. The score was close through 30 minutes, with RTRG up 94 – 62 after the first half.
After fans had a chance to refresh with a visit to the barbecue and beverage garden, the extra fire-power of RTRG started to become apparent as their lead consistently increased in the second half.
One of the standout performances from the RTRG jammers came from #511-Bark Messier, who relied on pure speed to pile on points during power jams (when the opposing team jammer is in the penalty box).
“She’s a hockey player,” explained #669-Jinjoe Fight-Us for the Dam City Rollers who was watching the action while applying her face paint. “She’s a great skater.”
Near the end of the matchup, the Vendettas jammer #16/16-Penetrator was ejected after her seventh penalty and RTRG showed no mercy as they piled on more points to take the final score to 201-141.
In the second bouts of the nights, Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers were amped up to take on the undefeated Nelson Killjoys.
“High energy and power isn’t a problem for this team,” said line caller Mr. Pro-pain. The tricky part, he suggested, was in getting them to dial it back a bit.
Even to the untrained eye, the second part of the doubleheader was a much more physical affair than the first, with the Dam City Rollers doing their best to live up to their “rough and tumble” reputation.
The DCR ladies got the first points of the night and were up 80-49 over the Killjoys with about 11 minutes to play in the first half and held on to a narrow four point lead, 106-102, at the intermission.
The intensity ramped up when the second half got underway and the crowd, a partisan mix of Nelson and Castlegar fans, started to let the skaters know they were into it. A huge power jam from the Rollers had them up 30 points with 12 minutes to play but the lead narrowed to just four with just under five minutes to go, after #91-Kitty Karnage took her seventh penalty and headed to the dressing room.
In the end the Killjoys showed why they were undefeated as they mustered a final push to take the final score to 224-178.
Still, there were a lot of smiles from the exhausted Rollers as they milled about after the match.
“I feel so unbelievable,” said the Rollers’ Jinjoe Fight-Us. “There’s a reason this team is undefeated and we pushed as hard as anyone has. We were leading the whole game until the end.”
Once the final four are set, the season-ending Mountain Mayhem Tournament in Rossland promises to be intense. Start time to see who skates away with the coveted West Kootenay Roller Derby “Golden Boot” is 3 p.m.