Lou “The Legend” Marinoff swept his way to another league date title and in doing so – also made a strong statement in his efforts to reclaim The NYTHL Championship. It’s a title that has belonged solely to him, but that changed this past June when Vinny “The Vinner” Catania finally was able to dethrone the only Champion New York Table Hockey has ever known. Now just 9 months later – Marinoff has emphatically proved that he is still the man to beat. It’s time to review the New York Table Hockey 2017-2018 League Date 6.
League date 6 was highlighted by new comers Phil Lynch and Greg Boyd. Although newcomer Greg had his difficulties, finishing without a win and in last, Phil managed to walk away with 3 wins and many close losses. At the top it was again Lou Marinoff finishing in the top spot, one point ahead of second place Vinny Catania. Although The Vinner beat Marinoff in both round robin games, his late 20th game loss to John Power sealed his fate. John Fayolle played well finishing in third with 31 points. He was tied with 4th place John Power and 5th place Bob D’Addario, but won the tie-breaker because he had the most wins. Anthony Sciacca made his season debut finishing with a respectable record of 10-9-3 for 6th place. Len Mecca 7th, Larry Durham 8th, George Slater 9th, Bob “Rod Father” Duenskie finished 10th all in front of the afore mentioned 11th Place Phil and 12th place Greg. The top four – Lou Marinoff, Vinny Catania, John Fayolle and John Power all would receive first round byes with the bottom 8 seeds playing best of threes to decide which 8 would qualify for the Quarterfinals. On to the playoffs.
The 5th Seed Bob D’addario swept past new comer Greg Boyd without surrendering a goal by final scores of 6-0 and 5-0. 6th seeded Anthony Sciacca did win in a sweep, but in two dogfights, narrowly defeating new comer Phil Lynch 1-0 and 1-0. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Phil Lynch will indeed be a rising star in this league. 7th Seeded Len Mecca defeated 10th seeded Bob “Rod Father” Duenskie by scores of 5-2 and 7-1. The 8th Larry Durham -vs- 9 seed George Slater series figured on paper to be the most competitive and in reality did not disappoint. Larry won game one 1-0. Larry led game two by 2 goals with under a minute to play when George struck late for two goals, then completed the comeback in overtime for a 5-4 victory. Larry got off the deck after that crushing defeat and defeated George 4-1 in the deciding game 3 for a 2-1 series win. It marked the first time that George ever lost not only a game but a series during the play in round. The Quarterfinals were set.
Top seeded Lou Marinoff faced 8th seeded Larry Durham in the Quarterfinals. Larry played the game of his life in the series opener and shocked Lou for a 7-5 win. It would be The Legend’s only playoff loss as he quickly rebounded by taking the next three games by scores of 6-1, 8-0, and 5-1 to take the series three games to one. 2nd seeded Vinny Catania played Len Mecca who always gives “The Vinner” more than enough to handle. In a series that was much closer than the scores – Catania swept the series by scores of 4-0, 4-3 and 7-3. 3rd Seeded John Fayolle who had played well all day kept it going by sweeping past veteran Anthony Sciacca 4-3 (OT), 10-3 and 3-2. The final spot in the semi finals went to 5th seeded Bob D’Addario. He surprised 4th seeded John Power who had played real well on the day, sweeping him by scores of 7-3, 3-2 and 4-3. It was on to the Semi-Finals.
The one seed Lou Marinoff ended 5th seed Bob D’Addario’s magic run to the Semi-Finals by earning a spot in the Finals with a hard fought sweep over the “Bob O”. The Legend took game one 3-1, then won game two in overtime by a score of 6-5. Marinoff capped off the sweep with a 6-2 victory. Vinny Catania the 2nd seed also swept his way into the finals by defeating Johnny “NY Lightning” Fayolle. The Vinner took game one 6-3, then won big 10-3 in game 2, then closed out the series with an 8-3 victory. It was to be yet but another Legend -vs- The Vinner final.
With both finalists playing so well, both only losing two games in 2 round robins and only a loss by Marinoff in his opening round playoff series – it figured to be one heck of a final. So we thought. Top seeded Lou “The Legend” Marinoff was clearly in a zone as he blew right through the 2nd seeded Vinny Catania. The Legend took game one 4-2, then won game two 5-2. With The Vnner’s back against the wall and two 2-0 series comebacks under his belt previously this season against Marinoff, recent history indicated that Lou would have his toughest test yet – trying to close this series out. Wrong again. The Legend Lou Marinoff clamped down even harder and won by the widest margin of the short three game series 6-2. This secured Lou’s 2nd League Date win this year, tying him with Vinny Catania and Kenny Dubois on the year. Furthermore it was a statement from the greatest champ the NYTHL has ever known that he is coming back for his title. Lou Marinoff continues to repel father time and is probably better now than he has ever been. As always – to win in New York – the road always must go through “The Legend”. We will see if The Vinner can lick his wounds and make a run at league date 7. There are some new comers and old veterans that will make their own stake in trying for next month’s League Date Title. Hopefully we will see you there.