Quick reflexes, quicker thinking and steady flow in your game are all ingredients that make up a winning table hockey player. For most people of 65 years of age those attributes are just memories from the past. For Lou "The Legend" Marinoff age is just another mile marker in the marathon of life. The defending NYTHL Champion made a return to the top spot in the 2016-2017 2nd League Date, and did so despite a serious challenge from The Vinner. Lou is playing as well now as he ever has and it shows not only in his success here in New York, but on the NTHL circuit as well as he continues to finish amongst the top 5 or 6 pretty consistently. Here at home in a league with many rising players, he remains to be the standard that everyone else is measured against. Thus far almost all have come up short. League Date 2 had a few surprises. One being The Vinner finishing in first place in the round robin by just one point over Marinoff despite losing twice to him. Those were the Vinner's only 2 Round Robin losses. Lou suffered 1-0 defeats to both John Power and Bob D'Addario. His tie against John Fayolle proved to be the difference as he finished in 2nd just one point behind the top spot. D'Addario and Power completed the top 4 as the competition was fierce and the overall play stellar. When the playoffs began there was only one surprise in the quarterfinals as the 6th seeded John Fayolle knocked off the 3rd seeded D'Addario three games to one. Catania and Marinoff swept L.D. and Anthony Sciacca respectively. John Power and Len Mecca played the only 5 game series of the day with Power winning the series 3-2 as he won game five by the same score. In the Semi-Finals The Vinner defeated a very tough John Power 3 games to 1 with all games decided by 1 goal except game two which the Vinner won by just two. In the other Semi-Final Marinoff defeated Johnny "NY Lightening" Fayolle by a same margin of three games to one. Lou's comeback in game 2 was a back breaker as he won despite trailing 4-1 then came back to take the game in the overtime session. A familiar Final series was then set but with a twist as The Vinner finally came in as the one seed; however it made no difference. The Vinner took game 1 pretty easily by a score of 4-1. Where the Vinner probably lost the series was in game 2, because despite shutting Lou out in regulation the Vinner himself couldn't break through Marinoff's defense as Lou won the faceoff and quickly scored the game winning goal not even allowing the Vinner to touch the puck. With the series tied Lou then returned the favor, reversing the game one score, earning a pretty easy 4-1 victory for himself. Game 4 was another classic but ended the same exact way game two did. Despite the Vinner taking the lead with just 34 seconds left to play - Marinoff showed his resiliency as he scored just 4 seconds later to tie the game. He then again won the faceoff in overtime and again scored without the Vinner ever gaining possession of the puck. Another great Job by Lou to win the second league date of the season. The Vinner is no doubt knocking at the door, but thus far has been held off by a great champion. It was a great day of table hockey as the NYTHL's top 8 players did battle. LD although finishing last has continued to show marked improvement as he pushed both the Vinner and Marinoff in round Robin games losing to both by just one goal. Bob D'Addario did a nice job getting off the mat by reversing a 1-5-1 start with a 5-1-1 finish to end the day at the 500 mark. John Power, Len Mecca and Anthony Sciacca all played well and provided plenty of headaches to those who played them. John Fayolle's new commitment to defense has started to pay dividends and will continue to do so in the future. League date 3 is fast approaching and should have a great turn out with a new player or two. See you there!