Jaw Breakers stifle opposition

Matthew Gourlie
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Strong defence leads to big derby win

Saturday the Lil Chicago Roller Derby Jaw Breakers stopped the Prince Albert Outlaws before they got started.

Krista Michelson, aka Addy 2 D'Juster, from the Lil Chicago Roller Derby Jaw Breakers checks Booty Squishus from the Prince Albert Outlaws during Saturday night's bout at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.

The locals won the battle at the start line and started to grow in belief about how good they can be as a team.

The Jaw Breakers dominated defensively in the first half to the tune of a 119-45 lead and went on to beat the Prince Albert Outlaws 239-125 in roller derby action Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.

"We've been really pushing ourselves in the last month to get to the place that our coach felt we could be. He was pretty pleased with us," said Jaw Breakers blocker Krista Michelson who skates as Addy 2 D'Juster. "It's nice to work towards bringing his vision into reality."

The Jaw Breakers were in control for the entire bout and put together their strongest effort of the season.

"Nerves can get the best of you. We had complete control of that game, especially the first half. We had control of the game and control of the jams and I think that helped relax us," said Michelson. "We felt like 'this is our game, we're going to play our way. They can do what they want, but we'll slow them down and play derby the way we want to play and force them to play our game.'

"We really played together as a team."

In roller derby the first jammer through the pack becomes the "lead jammer" and gets to decide when the jam ends and is able to control the tempo of the game. 

The Jaw Breakers had the lead jammer in all but one of the jams in the first half. Their ability to dominate at the starting line made a massive difference on the scoreboard.

"We've been focusing on our start strategies in every single practice. We have a couple of strategic plays, but we didn't use a lot of our 'tricks' so to speak. We stuck with the basics — staying tight, not moving and sticking our walls.

We recycled our girls really well into any openings. When girls were being pushed out, girls would fill in right away. It was a solid brick wall."

Michelson said that even some of the Outlaws praised them for how difficult it was to get through walls and that once they felt they had finally made some headway, someone that had passed would reappear in front of them to block their path.

"They had some really good jammers. They pulled in some girls from other teams from around the province to fill their roster," said Michelson. "Some of the names are quite well known. It can get in your head thinking that you've seen them play and they're really quite talented. We discussed that you can't give them any room, because that's how they pick up their speed, and we slowed them down and stayed in front of them."

With their focus on defence, the Jaw Breakers jammers didn't spend a lot of time blocking to create room for their own jammers, but they were still able to put up a lot of points.

The Jaw Breakers most valuable player was also their youngest. Mackenzy Vida, aka Q-Tee McWhiskers, is only 17, but she put in a tremendous performance as a jammer and racked up a lot of points for LCRD.

"As a junior she was well on her way to be as amazing as she is before she joined us," said Michelson. "She's been a great addition to our team and she's melded in really well. We're lucky to have her. She's an amazing jammer and an amazing player."

The evening also featured a junior scrimmage.

The Jaw Breakers will travel to Kimberley, B.C. on Aug. 16 before hosting a team from Portage La Prairie, Man. on Sept. 6.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre

Geographic location: Kimberley, Portage La Prairie

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