The 2012 East Kootenay Roller Derby League season has come to a close, and with an emphatic 206-115 drubbing of the Fernie Avalanche City Roller Girls, the Invermere Killer Rollbots have claimed the championship in the leagues’ inaugural season.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Rollbots captain Jessica de Groot said. “I’m really glad that all the hard work, all the practice time, all the strategy studying… it all paid off, we’ve been skating for a year and a half for this game and I think that we did really, really well.”
Although the Rollbots actually trailed after the opening three minutes by a score of 15-7, disciplined skating and a focused team soon erased that lead, and once the Rollbots took control they didn’t let go. With Fernie having been the only team to beat the Rollbots this year in regular season play, there was a little extra bit of motivation heading into this game, and the Rollbots responded with one of their best games of the season.
“I’m really proud, everyone really kept their cool in the game, and really focused on the job that needed to be done and they executed it really well,” de Groot said. “I was just blown away how everyone just focused on the game and didn’t get panicked, and just got the job done.”
de Groot said the key to the game was actually reducing the number of penalties their jammer took during the bout. As the jammer is the only player on the team that can score points, taking too many penalties during a game means the opposing team has the opportunity to rack up unanswered point after unanswered point. By eliminating these free points for Fernie, the Rollbots kept themselves on even footing for most of the game and ended up only taking one penalty to their jammer. de Groot said this was a fundamental choice on their part, as they adjusted their strategy to what they thought was their biggest weakness.
“We’ve done a lot of work , a lot of practicing, and a lot of self-evaluation,” de Groot said. “We also had two scrimmages with outside teams, and that really helps when you’re playing totally new people with new refs to really see where the weakness in your strategy is.”
While the regular season may be over for the team, this doesn’t mean the roller derby action stops there, as the team plays a final exhibition match against a team from Calgary on Sunday (September 23) at noon until 2 p.m., with an admission price of $5 at the Canal Flats Arena. de Groot said that after that her team plans on taking a much needed rest until they start recruiting again in December and starting practices in January.
“I think its only going to get harder as all the teams finally get their regular players, their core number of players, and everyone just gets better,” de Groot said. “I think next year’s going to be hard but we’ll do it, we’ll get there.”