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Lake Effect Furies Beat CN Power in Thriller, On to Play Gotham

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“The Battle of the QEW” lived up it expectations. The Lake Effect Furies pulled off a 3 point 232-229 win on the final jam of the game to upset Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power and move on to face Gotham Girls Roller Derby tonight at 7pm/EST. The game was the Furies first sanctioned win over Toronto ever – a team that had frustrated them previously and they had been 0-3 against. This was the Furies first ever appearance and bout in Division 1 Playoffs, the highest level of international women’s flat track roller derby, and the biggest game in the lives of any of their skaters. This is a huge win for women’s sport in Buffalo.

The Furies had to fight to get back into the game and win after trailing 133-97 at half. Struggling with 8 jammer penalties and 21 overall, to Toronto’s 6 and 20, the Furies traded leads for most of the half but allowed CN Power to finish the half on a run by giving up consecutive jammer penalties. Starting the 2nd half on a power jam, CN Power was able to spread the lead 152-97. The Furies kept chipping away at that lead, tightened up their blocking, and managed to outlast a CN Power team that was missing core veterans and struggled to match their endurance. The Furies were led by a strong second half from jammer InSINerator and an absolutely stunning full game effort by Librawlian – who scored 158 of the teams 232 points. The Furies gave up an advantage in lead jam % (19-13), took more jammer penalties (17-16) and took one more penalty than CN Power (49-48). The blockers refocused in the 2nd half, coaches made great use of the clock, and other skaters stepped up – but the Furies would have had no chance in this bout without the outstanding game from their lead jammer Brawl.

The “things to watch” from my bout preview held up, but in different ways then I thought they might. The Furies took more penalties, but it was the back breaking foul outs for CN Power’s Misery Mae and Mad Megz that hard the larger effect. The Furies ended with 2 skaters with 6 penalties and took 9 hit out of play and 8 forearms (which they must work on), but heavily penalized skaters found a way to stay in the game. That was a difference maker. CN Power’s blocking style was much better at holding Furies jammers then I thought they would be, even without veteran Santa Muerte. Transfer skater Onyeka Igwe did an amazing job of filling those shoes and sitting on Furies jammers. The Furies blockers struggled holding CN Power in that first half, but tightened up in that 2nd half to give their jammers the lead % for the half. It was less an adjustment and more getting back to their core plans – but without that change they lose this game. Panty passes were not as used much as I thought they would, and Toronto failed to capitalized on one failed panty pass by the Furies. Toronto was right to not stress panty passes and instead focus on transitioning to offense – but a well timed pass in the 2nd half could have helped them push back against the Furies momentum. CN Power blockers did exactly what they wanted to do with drawbacks and without the endurance of Furies jammers this would have broken the team. I guess those off skates and ridiculously intense warm ups paid off eh Guy!?!

The win ensures that the Furies can leave Omaha no lower than 8th, 1 spot above where they came in. Next up they take on Gotham Girls Roller Derby – who haven’t lost a bout since 2010 and who haven’t had anyone come within 100 points this year. They come into this Omaha tournament the 4 time reigning WFTDA Champions and the best roller derby team in the world. I could stress the unpredictability of all sport – but a win against Gotham would be something similar to the Angola Men’s Basketball team beating the US Men’s Basketball team. Instead, the bout is good experience for a team looking to find their footing and cement themselves in D1, and is also an amazing experience for skaters who may not have been able to play against Gotham in their derby career otherwise. That bout plays at 7pm EST and can be streamed at wftda.tv.

Furies fans and QCRG league members rightly lost their damn minds over the win and the chance to play Gotham.

 

Furies Skater Wrecks Kitten Capturing A Moment Pre Bout

Ready. #lakeeffectfuries #fivestrong #oneteam #wftdaplayoffs

A photo posted by Corinne Eberwine (@rinniecaroo) on