Stryker to some, Gaudet to others.
Viking #3 to make our list of New England South is also in charge of most of the training of Mass Maelstrom. He is also one of the first men in roller derby that I got to write about last season. I spent this year becoming a bit of a Maelstrom fangirl, and Stryker is always one of my favorites to watch on the track.
When you look at Gaudet, you don’t expect him to be well-balanced, agile or immensely strong. His long limbs are deceptive; he is not gangly in any way. There is not an ounce of awkward in his skating: He has perfect control of every twitch of his skate and flick of his hips.
Primarily a blocker this year, Gaudet’s positional blocking was always in perfect unison with his team mates, and when a jammer would escape Maelstrom’s wall – you could be sure that Gaudet’s ass would be right there waiting to swing and make the play. Yes. I want Stryker’s ass to win MVP just once.
As a jammer, Gaudet was often used as a relief to the line-up. If the regular rotation needed a breather, or if they just needed to get some momentum back, Strkyer got the star (and usually lead jammer). His long gait allows him to leap right past lines of blockers, and his footwork may not be flashy, but it is strong, sharp and highly effective. Not afraid to showboat, he gave the fans at ECDX a little extra to cheer for (and for those of us doing pushups for Maelstorm points – he gave us a little bit extra exercise).
I don’t know what Maelstrom has up their sleeve for 2014, but I am sure that Stryker is pushing the team to be stronger, faster and even more cohesive than before.
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