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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

Ohio Extends Neighborly Welcome to Gem City

Fresh off a successful tournament weekend in Canada, Ohio Roller Derby returns to their home track in Columbus with an improved 4-1 season record to welcome neighboring league Gem City Roller Derby (Dayton, OH) on Saturday, May 11th for one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the season. Despite their close proximity, the two A teams have not played one another in a decade, meeting twice in 2009 with entirely different rosters and under a very different WFTDA rule set. Gang Green and the Gem City B team, the Violet Femmes, sparred more recently in September 2014, with Gang Green emerging victorious. In the years since, Gem City has been on a steady upward trajectory, boasting nearly undefeated seasons for the past three years. The Purple Reign were in position to make a run for their first postseason appearance at the North America East Continental Cup in 2018, but they were forced to cancel the deciding game against Toronto on the final day of the WFTDA regular season due to unsafe track conditions. Eager to prove that they’re up to the challenge, they have scheduled an ambitious but well-paced season and are currently 2-3. Kicking things off with an early February

International Travel Ahead!

Ramping up for a jam-packed schedule over the next month, Ohio Roller Derby will hit the road for the first time in 2019 as the All Stars travel north to participate in Canada’s longest-running active WFTDA invitational event, Put Up Your Toques. Hosted by Tri-City Roller Derby, the tournament will take place over the first weekend in May at the RIM Park in Waterloo, Ontario, providing internationally competitive opportunities for WFTDA charter teams from across the province and the eastern United States. Participating teams include Brandywine Roller Derby (Downingtown, PA), Orangeville Roller Girls (Orangeville, ON, CA), Ottawa Valley Roller Derby (Ottawa, ON, CA), Roc City Roller Derby (Rochester, NY), Royal City Royal Derby (Guelph, ON, CA), and Toronto Roller Derby (Toronto, ON, CA) in addition to Ohio and Tri-City. (66) Ohio will open the tournament weekend at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 4th against (69) Orangeville Roller Girls, a previously untested opponent. Orangeville is currently 1-4 for the season, suffering an early-season loss to Roc City as well as later games to perennial powerhouses Queen City Roller Derby, Columbia Roller Derby, and Boston Roller Derby, but eking out a narrow victory over the Charlottesville Derby Dames. At 12 p.m. on Saturday, Ohio