Photo by Ron Horton
The clock started to count down and skaters from both the Sisters of No Mercy and Leave it to Cleavers rolled up to the starting lines preparing for the first jam of the night. Friendly words, some dance moves and butt slaps were exchanged. A relaxed tone was set for the first period of the bout. The first few jams started out slow paced with the Sisters of No Mercy dominating the track. Ashes to Ashes (#2012) and Nyda the Dead (#999) were the key jammers of the Sisters and took the position of lead jammers most often, almost 75% of the jams. Their moves were confident and calculated and it seemed that the skaters in Leave it to Cleavers were caught off guard by this. The Cleavers rotated between three jammers, China White (#138,) Muffin Splitter (#2-4-1) and Dirty Pirate Hooker (#8008). The majority of the Cleavers‘ points came from Muffin Splitter, but in the first few jams the Cleavers were relatively unsuccessful at scoring any points. These ladies had a hard time getting around the skaters of the Sisters of No Mercy and were knocked around quite a bit. About a quarter way through the bout the Sisters held a lead of 15 points.
This was when the game started to get interesting. The Cleavers realized they needed to play a little harder and there was an obvious change of pace by their jammers. This resulted in a change of strategy by the Sisters. In the first part of the period they obtained lead jammer status and scored most of their points. In the second half the Cleavers’ jammers were right on the heels of the Sisters, after obtaining lead jammer status the Sisters began to end the jams early to prevent the Cleavers’ jammers from also scoring. These changes worked for both teams, the Sisters maintained a 12 point lead at the half while the Cleavers prevented the gap in points between the teams from widening.
The last jam of the first period was by far the most exciting. At the beginning of the jam two of the skaters of Sisters of No Mercy were sent to the penalty box, one of which was the jammer. This meant that the Cleavers were eligible to score points while the Sisters were not, also known as a “power jam.” Alyva Suffrin’ (#36D,) Miss Mafiosa (#444) and Bonecrusher Barbie (#1030) were the only skaters left for the Sisters and did a great job of preventing Muffin Splitter from scoring until the very end of the jam. When Muffin Splitter finally passed these three, she scored five points for the team (the skaters in the penalty box are counted as being passed by the jammer too) and the score gap continued to close after this.
In the second period, the Sisters of No Mercy lost their lead and eventually ended up 30 points behind the Leave it to Cleavers. The roles were completely reversed. After the last jam of the first period, the Sisters of No Mercy seemed to lose their composure instead of remaining calm and cool. Apparently sitting in the penalty box keeps your head out of the game, because the Sisters were spending a lot of time there in the second half. There were at least five “power jams” in favor of the Cleavers. Two times China White was able to score ten points in one jam by lapping the Sisters of No Mercy twice. During most of these “power jams” the referee prevented the Sisters’ skaters from hitting the Cleavers’ jammer. The Sisters left on the track allowed the opposing jammer to pass without opposition to avoid sending any more players to the penalty box. The only strategy for the Sisters to prevent the opposing jammer from passing was to skate as quickly as they could without separating themselves from the skaters of the Cleavers. As you can probably guess, this didn’t work very well. With less than ten minutes left, Cleavers were 30 points up. Ashes to Ashes tried several times to take out the opposing jammer right after the whistle was blown at the beginning of the jam. Her attempts were noted by the Cleavers and she was closelined during one jam. This move put most of the Cleavers in the penalty box, and allowed Ashes to score ten points for the Sisters, closing the gap to 20 points. This was the last time that the Sisters of No Mercy were able to score and the bout ended on a slightly higher note for them. The bout ended with a score 65 points for the Sisters of No Mercy and 85 points for the Leave it to Cleavers.