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Ohio Returns Home to Battle Brandywine

As the regular season begins to wind down, (63) Ohio Roller Derby wraps up a whirlwind month of travel and returns to the Ohio Expo Center to square off against (69) Brandywine Roller Derby (Downingtown, PA) on Saturday, June 8th in their penultimate home game of the year. Currently 2-4 in 2019, the Belligerents scheduled a season similar in length to the All Stars, and have slowly crept up in the WFTDA rankings over the past few months. Their first trip to Ohio in March resulted in a narrow loss to Cincinnati, while their home opener in April brought a 101-point triumph over Charm City. Brandywine also made the journey to the Put Up Your Toques invitational in Canada in early May, but fell short in each of their three games against Toronto, Orangeville, and Ottawa Valley, all of whom Ohio has bested this season. Most recently, the Belligerents took down Charlottesville in a 203-173 victory at home; Ohio is their last scheduled game before the June 30th cutoff for postseason determination. Ohio and Brandywine have clashed only once previously, when the All Stars cinched a 248-108 win at home in April 2017. The Belligerents have experienced minimal turnover in their charter

Midwest BrewHaHa, Here We Come!

Hitting the road for the fourth time this month, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and Gang Green will travel to Milwaukee, WI, for the tenth annual Midwest BrewHaHa invitational from May 31st through June 2nd. One of the longest-running WFTDA recognized tournaments, the event takes place at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in downtown Milwaukee and is hosted each year by the Brewcity Bruisers. Twelve WFTDA charter teams, four WFTDA B-teams, and six Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) teams from across North America and Europe will play a total of thirty-three games over the course of the three day tournament. In addition to Ohio and Brewcity, Gem City Roller Derby (Dayton, OH) and North Star Roller Derby (Minneapolis, MN) will also have both A and B-level representation. Other participating WFTDA charter teams include DC Rollergirls (Washington, DC), Lomme Roller Girls (Lomme, France), Madison Roller Derby (Madison, WI), Rage City Rollergirls (Anchorage, AK), Team United Roller Derby (Des Moines, IA), Toronto Roller Derby (Toronto, ON, CA), Tri-City Roller Derby (Kitchener, ON, CA), and Winnipeg Roller Derby League (Winnipeg, MB, CA). Gang Green will open the tournament at 9 a.m. CST on Friday, May 31st, in a rematch against the Violet Femmes of Gem

OHIO TOPPLES STEEL CITY

Hitting the road together for the first time in 2019, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars and Gang Green hopped across the Ohio River to Pittsburgh for a pair of scrappy, hard-fought games against longtime opponents Steel City Roller Derby, scratching out late-game victories in both matchups. ALL STARS SQUEAK PAST STEEL HURTIN’, 181-167 Unceasing back-and-forth battle and a total of ten lead changes kept both teams on their toes for the entire sixty minutes of gameplay, but the final moments saw Ohio narrowly edging out their opponents. Catch Mikachu nicked the first point of the contest; two lead changes followed in as many jams, with Jane, Literally squeezing out of the pack for a 9-0 gain as a Steel Hurtin’ blocker picked up the first pack penalty. After swapping scoring passes for several minutes, Banana Jamma tied the score at 18-all despite strong triangulation from the Ohio defense; River Kyx then tipped the scales in favor of the home squad. Belle A. Trix took full advantage of a two-minute jam, edging through on toe stops for 8 points, but the Hurtin’ retaliated with back-to-back shutout jams, exploiting a depleted Ohio wall to widen their lead to 31-60. A team timeout allowed the

An Old Rivalry Revived

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

MIXED RESULTS FOR OHIO AGAINST NEIGHBORING GEM CITY

In their first matchups in recent memory, Ohio and Gem City faced off in two fierce battles that resulted in one win and one loss for each league. ALL STARS EDGED OUT BY PURPLE REIGN, 118-134 Aggressive from the opening whistle and only building in intensity, the charter game saw both teams fighting to find and maintain the narrowest of leads throughout both periods, and was ultimately determined in the final minutes of play. The All Stars jumped onto the scoreboard with a 4-0 inaugural jam, but the Purple Reign quickly answered with two consecutive shutout jams, causing the first lead change in jam 3. Speedy packs minimized Gem City gains in the early minutes of the period, and Ohio jammers took advantage of holes left by their opponents to race away from the defense and force early call offs. While unsuccessful in their request for an illegal contact penalty assessment to the Reign jammer at the end of jam 8, the brief lull in action allowed the All Stars to reset; BrussKnuckles pulled off the first double-digit scoring run in jam 10, sprinting up the inside for a 15-4 gain and flipping Ohio into the lead, 25-24. Gem City fired back in

OHIO DOMINATES AT PUT UP YOUR TOQUES INVITATIONAL

While multi-game tournament weekends already present a unique set of obstacles - increased fatigue, unfamiliar track surfaces, special attention to hydration and nutrition, playing earlier or later in the day than usual - adding international travel into the equation can create extra hurdles, particularly for U.S. teams that don’t necessarily do so often. Undaunted by any of the challenges presented, the Ohio Roller Derby All Stars crossed the northern border and skated their way to three decisive victories in less than 48 hours. LAST JAM UPSET OF ORANGEVILLE, 191-183 Ohio opened the tournament with a back-and-forth battle against (69) Orangeville, swapping lead ten times and eking out a last-jam victory. An initial power jam allowed Ohio to control momentum and gain small handfuls of points over the first five minutes of play before Orangeville forced the first lead change in jam 5, 12-16. BrussKnuckles fired back in jam 7, spinning through the pack to pick up 18 points and boost Ohio to a narrow 30-28 lead. A tug-of-war for lead ensued; Birch Slap quickly juked through the pack and avoided jammer defense for 7 uncontested points, but a 4-1 pack advantage for Orangeville in the following jam left little resistance against Gruesome Gracie