Team remains ‘excited for the future’ as league rebuilding continues: player
A rookie roster almost cracked the veteran wall of the Fairbanks Rollergirls. But with a high-scoring final jam, the Alaskan team pulled ahead of the Yukon Roller Girls 157-116 to win the Klondike Gold Krush Saturday night at Mount McIntyre.
In their first home bout of the season, the Yukon Roller Girls had half their roster of 10 filled with rookie skaters to face off against a full-power team of 13 from Alaska.
“It was so much fun,” said Leah “Martha Blackout” Gilles, a jammer for the Yukon Roller Girls. “The game was actually close and Fairbanks are a great team to play.”
Just after 7 p.m., with the sun shining into the arena from an open garage door, the Canadian anthem was sung followed by a heartfelt rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by the Fairbanks team.
The game started off quite even, but Fairbanks soon pulled ahead. They never quite relinquished control again. But the game would come to within 11 points.
The last time the two teams met was about four years ago at the United We Roll Alaska State Tournament, when the Roller Girls beat Fairbanks to take the title.
Since that game, the local league has gone through a roller coaster of new players and is still rebuilding the team.
“We knew coming in that there were a lot of newer skaters since Whitehorse is rebuilding their league,” said Katlian “Mini Fridge” Stark, a Fairbanks jammer who has been skating with the team for six years. “We were really super
happy to be invited here and it was really even game play.”
The Fairbanks team normally finishes their season at the beginning of May, but extended it about a month to accept the invite to play in Whitehorse.
Stark was impressed with the level the new Yukon players were skating at.
“The Whitehorse girls were great. They’re all very strong,” she said. “Any newness, they made up for with being, ‘I’m not going to fall. I’m good. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I’m good.’”
Among the new Whitehorse players was Codi “Baddie Banks” Ingram, who dazzled the Fairbanks team with fancy footwork as she dodged blockers on her scoring runs for the Roller Girls.
“It was so fun,” she said after the game, a huge smile on her face. “It was really awesome to play with the whole team.”
Ingram’s first bout came a couple weeks ago when some of the Roller Girls travelled to Terrace, B.C. for a tournament.
This was her first home game.
“It’s competitive and it’s fun and there’s a bunch of really awesome women,” she said. “Everyone is so supportive and you get to wear the sweetest outfits – if you want.”
Along with Andrea “Honey Badger” Badger and Martha Blackout, she’s been practising as a jammer – the point scorer.
“It’s fast and you can be quick on your feet,” she said.
She was voted MVP jammer by the Fairbanks Rollergirls, while Christy “Crack-Her” Huey, another Yukon player at her first home game, picked up the honour for blocker.
Fairbanks’ Stark was awarded MVP jammer, while Briana “Booty Dropher” Morrell was named MVP blocker.
The Roller Girls are continuing to practise and bring in more players this summer.
“We’re still rebuilding and we’re just excited for the future,” said Gilles.
The Yukon Roller Girls are hoping to host another home bout in the fall.