Somebody crown the Bavarian Barbarians, because they now reign on top of the East Kootenay Roller Derby League standings.
The Kimberley squad edged out a close 157-145 win against the Invermere Killer Rollbots to lay claim to the top spot in the league. Following the bout, the hosts—the Elkford Wildcat Brawlers—took on the Rocky View Bruise Battalion and fell by a score of 183-146.
“Going into it, we’ve never beaten the Invermere team before, but we knew that we had a good chance to put up a good fight, just based on how far our team has come since the first season,” said Nicole Kapell, who skates as Indiana Bones Crusher.
Kimberley will be automatically in the championship bout for the league’s final event of the season in July, where they will face either Invermere or Elkford.
“We’re pretty excited, we get to go into the final in first place,” said Kapell. “We’ll be playing the headlining game at 8 p.m. here in Kimberley, so hometown advantage.”
Even though the Barbarians picked up the win, they were trailing early in the game, as the Rollbots exploited an unusual tactic.
“They were playing this different strategy and it took us about 10 minutes or more to counteract that,” continued Kapell.
The Barbarians were able to regroup after a couple timeouts and at the half and eventually figured out a counter strategy.
While the Barbarians reacted to the Rollbots, they were also running a tactic of their own.
The Kimberley team had a roster of 11 players, while Invermere only had seven.
“By the second half, they were getting pretty tired,” said Kapell. “One of our strategies was to play a long game so that our shifts were longer to try and tire them out, give them less time to sit on the bench.”
The game opened up in the second half, as the two teams traded leads all the way up till the final countdown.
“We kind of went back and forth, all the way until the very end, and at the end we just decided to pull out all the stops and played most of our veterans for the last couple of jams straight, just to kind of make that extra push,” added Kapell.
“The last jam we got a power jam, meaning their jammer went into the penalty box, so that helped us get a couple of extra points just to kind of get the win at the end.”