Previews

charter huddle OHRD v Gem City 5.11.19 Chris Baker HEADER
May 16

Making a quick jaunt to Pennsylvania during a mid-season lull in home games, Ohio Roller Derby will face off against long-time rivals Steel City Roller Derby (Pittsburgh, PA) on Saturday, May 18th at the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena in Cheswick, PA. Teams of all levels from the two leagues have clashed numerous times over the past decade, with Ohio maintaining a winning average in all configurations.

(84) Steel Hurtin’ played their second WFTDA-sanctioned game ever against the All Stars in December 2007 and have rematched with them six times since, including once at WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs in 2014. Their most recent meeting at the now-defunct Romp n’ Roll in Glenshaw in August 2015 saw the Steel Hurtin’ pull out a decisive 249-117 victory, but both charter rosters have undergone significant change since.

The Hurtin’ challenged themselves in 2018, prioritizing road games and traveling to the United Kingdom for the Euro Clash tournament; the experience served them well, as they have slowly but steadily climbed the WFTDA rankings over the past year. With a more experienced roster in 2019, the Hurtin’ front-loaded their season and are currently 6-3. Kicking off with travel losses to Naptown and Roc City in February and March respectively, they recovered as they moved into spring, racking up home track wins over Providence and West Virginia in addition to an away win over Cincinnati. Their most recent games fell at the end of April, when they hit the road to Michigan for the annual K-Town Shakedown tournament and brought home solid victories against Kalamazoo and Duke City, only falling short in a close game against higher-ranked Oklahoma. Following the upcoming contest with Ohio, they will enjoy a brief respite before finishing their season in late June against Garden State.

Following the charter game, Gang Green will take on the Steel Beamers. Various versions of the two B squads have battled it out over the years, beginning in early 2009, and Gang Green has emerged on top in four out of six games, most recently in a June 2018 home game that ended with a 158-129 triumph. The Steel Beamers are 1-5 for the year, soundly beating the Kalamazoo Killa Crew but falling prey to the B teams of Roc City, Providence, Cincinnati, DuPage, and Ottawa Valley.

The Ohio Roller Derby All Stars will take the track against the Steel Hurtin’ at 7 p.m., followed by Gang Green versus the Steel Beamers around 9 p.m. Additional event information and pre-sale ticket specials are available online.

Photos by Chris Baker.

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