The Opener of The NYTHL’s 3rd season may have been one of the most exciting league dates yet. Players from as far as Vancouver, British Columbia came to participate. Ten players battled their way through a double round robin and playoffs and in the end it was what has become a very familiar sight. The Vinner and The Legend once again went to battle and it was The Vinner who took home the League Date 1 Title.
The Legend Lou Marinoff did not come alone this time. With him came an old practice partner Dave (Vancouver) and his son Julian (a very good player in his own right from Montreal). It had been four and a half months since Lou lost his title to The Vinner and he was chomping at the bit to get revenge. First; however there were many battles to be had.
The double round robin provided some exciting moments and an impressive undefeated run by The Vinner. The defending champion Vinny Catania ran off 18 consecutive wins to take the number one seed on the day. He scored 99 goals while surrendering just 28. He led everyone in putting the puck in the opposing net, while keeping it out of his. Lou Marinoff took the second spot with another impressive showing at 14-4-0. He had two losses to the Vinner and one each to Len Mecca and a returning John Power. Len Mecca took 3rd on the day with an 11-5-2 record which was propelled by a very strong 8-1 record in the 2nd round robin. Julian Marinoff was a major factor in his NYTHL debut finishing 4th with a 10-7-1 record. A returning John Power finished 5th with an 8-6-4 record, not too bad for someone working off the rust. Bob D’Addario finished 6th with a 9-8-1 record and would be heard from in a big way in the playoffs. The Rod Father (Bob Duenskie) finished 7th (5-11-2), followed by George (3-12-3), then Dave (2-14-2) and finally Larry Durham (2-15-1).
The preliminary round (best of three) of the playoffs began with the 7th seeded Rod father battling 10 seeded Larry Durham. The 8 vs 9 matchup featured #8 George VS # 9 Dave. Seeds 1 through 6 received byes while the bottom 4 battled it out with the two winners joining the top six. The Rod Father punched his ticket to the Quarterfinals by ousting Larry 9-3 and 5-3. Rookie of the year George Slater earned his way to the Quarters by upending Dave 2-1 and 4-2.
The Best of 5 Quarterfinals were set. The #1 Seed Vinner swept his way past 8th seeded George by scores of 4-2, 10-2 and 3-1. The # 2 Seed Lou Marinoff also swept his way into the Semi-Finals with a dominating performance, defeating the 7th seeded Rod Father 5-2, 9-1 and 8-2. In a much anticipated series The 4 Seed Julian Marinoff surprisingly and in impressive fashion swept his way past 5th seeded John Power 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. The last spot in the Semis was secured by Bob D’Addario, who as the 6th seed went on to upset a hot 3rd seeded Len Mecca. The Bob O needed just three games to sweep away Mecca by the scores of 2-1, 4-0 and 5-4.
The Semi-Finals presented interesting matchups between the #1 Seed Vinner and 6 Seed Bob D’Addario (his practice partner). In the other Semi-Final it was Father VS Son as 2nd seeded Lou took on 4th Seeded Julian Marinoff. In what where 2 natural rivalries each series was not as close as what most would have probably thought. The Vinner Made his way into the Final with his 22nd 23rd and 24th consecutive wins, sweeping away D’Addario by the scores of 5-2, 3-0, and 9-2. In the Father VS son (Teacher VS Student) battle the Legend Lou Marinoff once again proved that he was ready to concede nothing as he swept his way past son Julian by scores of 8-2, 7-4, and 4-3 in OT. It was to be another Vinner VS Legend Final.
The Legend Lou Marinoff waited over 4 months to exact revenge on the man who dethroned him back in June. It would have to be a supreme effort though as The 1 seeded Vinner rode in to the Finals having won all of his 24 games on the day. The 2 seeded Legend proved once again that he could dig deep and have his game rise to yet another level in search of another league date title. The Legend took the Vinner rather easily in game 1 ending Vinner’s 24 game winning streak by a score of 6-2. Lou then dealt the Vinner another loss in game 2 in again rather easy fashion defeating Catania 6-3. A measure of some sweet revenge was just a game away for the Legend, but The Vinner had a different ending in mind. The Vinner tightened up on the defensive end and marched his way to a 4-0 win in game 3. He still trailed the series 2-1 and still faced elimination. After falling behind by a goal and with just 90 seconds left – The Vinner scored 2 goals to knot the series with a 2-1 victory. Now with all on the line for both It was The Legend once again jumping out to a multiple goal lead. The seesaw battle continued as The Vinner came back to tie then take a 4-3 lead into the game's final minute. The Legend would tie it late sending the league’s first League Date Final of the season into Sudden Death Overtime. It was a first of its kind for the NYTHL and it was the Vinner who prevailed with a neat right wing to center goal to complete the series comeback from down 2-0, to win 3-2 games. Just another classic battle between these two fierce rivals. It was also the 3rd straight series that The Vinner took from Lou after losing at all of his previous attempts. It was just one battle of what is sure to be many more between these two.
In the consolation best of three series between 4th seeded Julian Marinoff and 6th seeded Bob D’Addario – The Bob O pulled off his second upset of the day by defeating Julian in a tight series two games to one. Bob dropped the first game 2-1, but then rebounded to take the next two by identical scores of 3-2. For Bob D’Addario it was his best finish ever at a league date as he continues to exhibit marked improvement. A solid debut for Julian as well as he reached the Semi-Finals and finished 4th in his NYTHL debut.
That was just league date 1. League date 2 will probably be just as exciting if not more. The rumored return of John Fayolle and a possible reappearance of Kenny Dubois (Table Hockey’s Wayne Gretzky) could be in the works. Get in on the action. See you behind the rods next month.