If you thought that Lou "The Legend" Marinoff's time had passed - you better think again! The former champion reclaimed not only the top spot in the year long round robin standings, but also added the NYTHL League Date 4 title to his impressive list of accomplishments. This league date featured the season debut of Moussa Chermiti and solid play by John Fayolle, Bob D'Addario, Len Mecca and John Power. Let's review the action.
The double round robin ended with no surprise at the top. Lou Marinoff posted the best record with a 13-2-1 mark good for 27 points. His only blemishes were losses to Bob D'Addario and John Fayolle and a surprising tie with George Slater. His loss to Fayolle was not a surprise because Johnny Lightening posted the 2nd best record at 10-4-2. His win and tie versus The Vinner enabled him to finish one point in front of Catania's 3rd place mark of 9-4-3 (21 points). D'Addario's 8-5-3 record was good enough for 4th. Len Mecca finished 5th at 7-6-3. Moussa "The Cleaver" Chermiti despite not having played all season long also posted a 7-6-3 record, but fell to 6th due to his head to head loss and tie to Mecca. Larry Durham 5-11-0 finished 7th with George Slater 2-11-3 and The Rod Father 2-14-0 finished 8th and 9th respectively.
The playoffs began with a familiar trend. Once again George Slater played the play in round and once again played The "Rod Father" Bob Duenskie. Slater put his undefeated series and game record on the line in this best of three series and once again did not disappoint as he up ended the Duensskie pretty easily by scores of 7-1 and 5-2 for the 2-0 series sweep.
George Slater's success in the early play in rounds has not yet translated into the quarter final rounds because there has usually been a top seed waiting for him. This time it was Lou "The Legend" Marinoff who easily took down George in three straight by scores of 3-2, 6-2 and 8-2. In the 2 vs 7 matchup the 2nd seeded John Fayolle powered past Larry Durham by scores of 4-2, 6-1 and 7-0. John and Lou had their spots in the Semi Finals reserved. The Vinner later joined them after being pushed by a very game "Cleaver" as Moussa Chermiti managed to keep the series close, but lost to the Vinner by scores of 5-4 and 5-3, then he won game 3 in overtime 5-4. Moussa finally bowed out after losing game four - 4-3 which gave the series to The Vinner 3-1 games. The final spot in the Semi Finals went to Len Mecca the 5th seed as he up ended 4th seed Bob D'Addario in their series. Len took game one 5-1 and won and exciting game two, 5-4 in overtime. Bob managed to claw back with a 3-2 game three victory before being ousted in the 4th game by a score of 4-2. Mecca also took the series 3-1 games. These two have had an interesting back and forth rivalry.
A trip to the Finals was on the line as 1 seed Lou Marinoff took on 5th seeded Len Mecca in one half of the League date 4 semi finals. Len has had some round robin success of late against Lou, but it did not translate in this series as Lou swept past Len by scores of 5-0, 7-5 and 5-1 for the 3-0 series victory. In the other Semi Final The 2nd seeded Johnny "NY Lightening" Fayolle took on a tired 3rd seeded Vinny "The Vinner" Catania. The Vinner depended heavily on goaltending to conserve energy against Fayolle and was successful as he swept the higher seeded Fayolle by scores of 2-0, 7-3 and 6-3. The sweeps by Catania and Marinoff set up another battle between the two in the League Date 5 Final.
After dominating Catania and the rest of the league for so long, Lou "The Legend" Marinoff had actually lost his previous 5 straight league date series VS Catania. Just when you thought the Legend may be silenced for a while, Marinoff once again proved he has no intention on going away any time soon. Lou won the two round robin games vs The Vinner earlier in the day by scores of 5-1 and 4-2. As is usually the case The games get closer the more they play especially in the playoffs. With that being the case game one held true to form with The Legend taking game one in overtime 6-5. The Vinner tied the series with a 5-3 victory in game 2. Marinoff took a 2-1 series lead with a very exciting 2-1 victory. The Vinner once again tied the series with another 5-3 victory. The Legend proved to be too much on this day as he powered past The Vinner 8-4 in game 5 for the 3-2 series victory. It was a return to the top for the Legend as he earned his first league date victory of the year and first since April 2017. With The Legend once again asserting himself and The Vinner eager for revenge, along with John Fayolle and John Power playing better - future league dates will only get more intense. The rise of Bob D'Addario and growth of George Slater will only add to the excitement. The Rod Father and Larry Durham's record may not tell the full story of how much they have improved as well. Who will win League date 5? We will find out soon. The NYTHL will soon see the addition of some new players as many have inquired about joining the league. Any and all are welcome! Hopefully we will see you sooner than later, but better late than never.