Last night at The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium we got our first taste of the new “local” Minnesota RollerGirls season. (The first half of the season were “traveling” games, where we pit our best players against teams from other cities.) The Garda Belts, my favorite “local” team, put up a good fight, but they lost to the Atomic Bombshells.
The Garda Belts were heavily outmatched in this, the first bout of the new season. The Garda Belts had the lowest number of returning veteran skaters in the Minnesota league. The Atomic Bombshells, in contrast, had the highest number of returning skaters, and seemed to have come out wonderfully in the pre-season draft. One wonders if the “rebalancing” that took place slanted things a bit too far in favor of last year’s last-place team.
Regardless, the Garda Belts gave it their all. There were a number of great performances last night, but the lack of experience was easily evident as many of the great “plays” came too far apart, the Garda Belts were unable to gain momentum and bring the team together. As the season goes on, I’m confident the Garda Belts will improve by leaps and bounds, but last night certainly did show us they’ve got a lot of practicing to do. I hope that by the time we get to the next bout, everyone will start to find their niche and the Garda Belts as a whole will regain that huge amount of trust good teams find in each other that allows them to execute a bout as one coherent team.
On a side note, my favorite player, Ji Spot (Yes, the same Ji Spot that commented back here) was back on the rink last night, after spending much of last year’s local season on the sidelines due to an injury. Near the end of the bout, it appeared that she fell and had her fingers rolled over by another skater’s wheels. (That’s all I could see from my trackside seat, being at track level limits how much you can see on the opposite side of the rink) She was curled up in pain, as you might imagine. EMT’s were sent in. However, after a few moments to regain her exposure, she stood up proudly, shrugged off the EMT’s and walked back to the team. A true veteran move, and even tho she didn’t get another chance to block, she was there for the final skate-go-round, holding up her finger, smiling to the crowd. After spending so much time on the sidelines, you can really tell just how serious these volunteer skaters are when it comes to their games…and their teams.