The second installment of the 2017-2018 NYTHL season proved to be everything it was hyped up to be and more. It featured the return of league stalwarts Anthony Sciacca and John Fayolle as well as a visit from The Professional Kenny Dubois.
A return to Coney Island was met with yet again more TV coverage. This time New York One did a feature on The NYTHL and its games which are manufactured by the NYTHL’s own John Fayolle. The rumors of a possible appearance of Kenny Dubois where in fact validated by his dropping by just in time for the 2nd round robin and sweeping his way through the competition. Another classic Vinner VS The Legend battle did in fact occur, but instead of a league date title for the winner – a shot at one of the World’s best would be the reward.
This time the battle started with eight men who were to do battle in a double round robin for seeding in the 8 man league date 2 playoffs to follow. That changed when The Great One Kenny Dubois walked through the door after the first round robin and was coerced into playing. To make it fair winning percentage would decide seedings and the last two men in the standings would battle in a best of three for the eighth seed. With the semantics worked out let’s review what happened.
The story of round robin one was not only the returns of two NYTHL originals – Johnny “NY Lightening” Fayolle and Anthony Sciacca, but their solid play as well. Especially John Fayolle. He marched his way to a 6-0-1 record thru his first round robin. He was the early leader, but suffered several setbacks in the second round robin, finishing a very respectable 8-6-1 on the day which earned him the 4th seed overall. Defending League Champion Vinny Catania finished with the 3rd seed with an 8-4-3 record. Lou “The Legend” Marinoff (former league Champ and defending regular season champ) took the 2nd seed with a record of 8-3-4.
Although due to prior commitments he was a late arrival, and as a result unable to warm up – table hockey Great Kenny Dubois stepped in off the street and right on to a table. All he did was take down The Legend Lou Marinoff 9-2 in his very first game. The now resident of Bethel Connecticut marched his way to an undefeated 7-0-0 round robin which included a 5-2 win VS The Vinner and earned him the number one seed. There weren’t many surprises in round robin play, but one of them was George Slater’s 1-0-1 record VS John Fayolle. George has continued to take strides toward being a top player in this league for years to some. John Power took the 5th seed at 5-7-3 with Bob D’Addario taking the 6th at 4-6-5. Anthony Sciacca 7th, Len Mecca 8th and George Slater 9th rounded out the rest of the standings.
Although the standings don’t always tell the complete story – Len Mecca’s 4-10-1, 8th place finish was no doubt disappointing. What it also did was put him in a best of three - play in series VS 9 seed George Slater, who rarely has lost in these play in rounds. This time would be no different as George’s trademark defense propelled him to a 3-2 and 4-2 sweep of the best of three and a date with Kenny Dubois in the Quarterfinals.
The quarterfinal round featured some real good matchups. Cinderella Man George Slater did not have a magical ending in his battle with Kenny Dubois as Dubois easily dispatched Slater by scores of 6-1, 5-0 and 3-1. The 2 seed Lou Marinoff locked horns with Defensive specialist Anthony Sciacca. The Legend’s offense proved to be a little too much for Sciacca as Lou defeated him 6-2 in game one, then narrowly defeating Sciacca 4-3 in OT and 3-2 for the weep. The 3rd seeded Vinner once again faced his natural rival and practice partner Bob D’Addario. The Vinner for a second month in a row swept through the Bob O by scores of 7-1, 4-2 and 3-2. The most interesting matchup of the round was the 4th seeded John Fayolle VS the 5th seeded John Power. J.P. took game one 3-1, only to have Fayolle knot the series at one with a 4-3 victory. The 5th seeded John Power whose play improved as the day went on then took the series by winning the next two games by scores of 3-1 and 6-5 in OT.
The Semi Finals were set with 1 seed Kenny Dubois VS 4 seed John Power and 2 seed Lou Marinoff vs 3 seed Vinny Catania. A spirited effort by John Power proved little resistance to Dubois as Kenny rolled into the finals on the back of another sweep as he beat J.P. by the scores of 4-1, 7-2 and 4-1. The 2 vs 3 semi final was to be yet another war between Marinoff and Catania. Just as it was the month before Lou “The Legend” jumped out to a 2-0 series lead by crushing the Vinner in game one 8-2 the beating him again 5-3. Asking The Vinner to comeback down 2-0 vs The Legend two consecutive months was a tall order if not impossible. The Vinner down two goals late in game three and facing elimination rallied for two late goals bringing it to overtime then a back and forth overtime saw The Vinner prevail 4-3. The defending champ then battled his way all the way back winning game four 5-4, then winning the series by taking game five 3-1. The Vinner did the improbable by beating The Legend 2 months in a row after dropping the first two games of a best of five, then winning the next three.
One year earlier Kenny Dubois dropped in at the NYTHL’s 2016-2017 League Date 1 and went 15-0 on his way to an undefeated run into the finals. Legend Lou Marinoff managed to take one game but fell to Dubois in four games 3-1. One year later it was The Vinner’s shot at the great one. Unfortunately for the Vinner the experience and creativeness of Dubois proved to be too much. Kenny scored beautiful goals with precision passing and laser accuracy en route to a 7-2 game one win. If The Vinner had any shot in the series, it went by the wayside in game two. Along with a 3-0 lead, The Vinner’s hopes were extinguished with a well balanced attack and an impressive comeback as Kenny downed The Vinner 5-4. Kenny completed his undefeated run though the day by proving his defense is as good if not better than his offense as he shut down any hopes of The Vinner to come back in this series as he won the game 2-0 and swept the series in three.
Hopefully Kenny will drop in again sometime soon. “I’d love to see this guy be a regular. He is the ultimate measuring stick to see where you stand in this game.” “He is an even better person!” said Catania. That’s all for League Date 2. See you next month for a holiday version of league date 3. Perhaps more surprises are on the way, possibly another appearance by Kenny? Maybe next month it will be you. Hope to see you behind the rods real soon.