The Castlegar Dam City Rollers defeated the Nelson Killjoys at a bout on Saturday night.
The two teams faced off in Castlegar in the Selkirk gym, attracting a large crowd and collecting numerous non-perishable donations for the food bank. It was the Dams first bout of the season, and they showed off some new defensive moves that proved highly effective.
During practices, the Dams have been practicing blocking drills, where the blockers — the skaters who form the pack and are responsible for impeding the other team’s jammer — practice helping their own jammer and then quickly resetting into formation to block the opposing jammer. The Dams recently also learned table-top blocking from four of their members who attended a Team Canada boot camp in Calgary.
“I’m really proud of my team tonight. The hard work has really paid off,” said Amber Harper, a.k.a. #33 Pantsoff, the Dams’ training director and practice coach. “We’ve been practicing table-top blocking, which is where we get really low and we form like a triangle and it works amazing when we’re all doing it together.”
“You’re lower when you’re blocking and your back is flat,” said Kylie Morin, a.k.a. #306 Kylie Coyote, explaining the table-top block.
Because the blockers’ backs are flat, jammers can get caught up on them and “almost fold over you,” as Morin put it. This was witnessed several times during Saturday night’s bout.
The table-top block, paired with some great jamming by Kylie Coyote, #2358 shyRAMasaurus WREX, #94 Tonka Tash and #333 ASH, allowed the Dams to take the lead early on and by the end of the first period the Dams were up 222-72. By the time the clock read 18:21 in the second period, the Dams had dramatically increased their lead, 320-77, and three of the Dams — Saskwatch, Pantsoff and Kitty Karnage — switched teams for the remainder of the bout.
“Unfortunately the Killjoys suffered a few injuries coming into this game, so they had to give us a fresher roster than what they had initially thought they would, so we were not very well matched for this game,” explained Harper. “So we figured …why not even out the teams and give the newer skaters an opportunity to skate with some more experienced skaters, and really feel how that feels.”
The switch-up helped the Killjoys make up some points, but the bout was called shortly before the end of the second period, when the score reached 348-171 for the Dams.