The NYTHL’s Seventh league date of the 2020-2021 season kicked off this past Saturday at Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island, New York. Observing all Covid 19 Safety Protocols, 14 players from five states competed in a double round robin that totaled 26 games. Gary Nichols and Dale Ostrander from the Carolina Table Hockey League made their season debut, representing their league well with great play and sportsmanship. A great day of spirited competition ended with Vinny Catania winning both the round robin and playoff titles. John Power, Len Mecca, Chris D’Andrea and Anthony Sciacca also played very well. Let’s review the day.
This month’s format had the top ten players qualifying for the “A” Playoffs, with the top six seeds receiving byes and the bottom four facing off in order to see which two would join them in the Quarter-Finals. The next four players would comprise the “B” Playoffs. League Champion Vinny Catania barely edged out John Power by a single point to earn the top seed with a record of 20-2-4. Len Mecca who had a big day finished third - just three points out of first. Chris D’Andrea finished fourth just one point ahead of the day’s biggest surprise Anthony Sciacca who played extremely tough earning a 13-8-5 record. Bob D’Addario salvaged a poor start by ripping through the competition in the second round robin to earn sixth and the last bye. Seeds seven through ten consisted of George Slater, Paul Crescitelli, Gary Nichols and Walter Zissler respectively with those four competing in a best of three preliminary round to see which two would join the top six. Walter Zissler continues to improve as he earned his first “A” playoff appearance. Seeds 11 through 14 were comprised of Larry Durham, Dale Ostrander, Joe Gurney and Brian Sullivan who would compete in the “B” Playoffs.
The Preliminary round saw seven seed George Slater Sweep ten seed Walter Zissler by scores of 4-1 and 1-0. Eight seed Paul Crescitelli was defeated in a very exciting three game series by nine seed Gary Nicholls, Nicholls took the deciding game three in overtime by a 6-5 score. Paul continues to improve as he managed to take a point from Vinny Catania earlier in the day, earning a 1-1 tie in the first round robin.
The Quarter-Finals saw one seed Vinny “The Vinner” Catania sweep nine seed Gary Nicholls by scores of 4-2, 4-1 and 6-2. Two seed John Power was nearly upset by seven seed George Slater. Power trailed two games to one when he rebounded to take a very exciting game four in overtime 1-0. J.P. then won the fifth and deciding game by a 3-1 margin. Three seed Len Mecca pulled off an even more improbable comeback as he dropped the first two games to six seed Bob D’Addario by scores of 5-4 and 3-1. Len then took the next two games by scores of 3-2 and 4-1. Mecca then won the series in a very exciting game five when he scored in overtime to win the game and series by a 3-2 margin. Four seed Chris D’Andrea swept past the ageless Anthony Sciacca by scores of 3-1, 6-5 OT, and 3-0. On to the Semis.
Top seed Vinny Catania met four seed Chris D’Andrea in a very highly contested, spirited series. Although the Vinner swept D’Andrea, all the games were close. The Vinner won by scores of 5-3, 2-1 and 3-2 in overtime. With the Vinner advancing to the final – two seed John Power would face three seed Len Mecca to see who would join him in the Final. J.P. opened the series with a 5-1 win. Len would tie the series with a 3-1 game two victory. J.P. pulled away by edging Len 4-2 in game three and 4-3 in game four to clinch the series. For the second month in a row and third time this year, The Vinner would meet J.P. in the Final.
With Vinny Catania and John Power separated by just one point on the day after the 26 game double round robin, the Finals would figure to be a barn burner. In a series that did not feature much defense, The Vinner would go on to sweep J.P. by scores of 9-4, 8-6 and 8-5. The win earned Vinny the league date 7 title. John Power would finish second with Len Mecca finishing third based on the round robin standings. The all series best of five “B” playoffs saw eleven seed Larry Durham defeat fourteen seed Brian Sullivan in four games. Twelve seed Dale defeated thirteen seed Joe Gurney three games to two. Larry Durham then defeated Dale Ostrander in a very exciting five game final, winning the deciding game by a 4-2 margin to take the “B” playoff championship.
With seven league dates in the books, just two dates remain before the season wraps up in June. The May league date will be the final tune up before June’s Championship Playoff Tournament which will decide the N.Y.T.H.L. Champion. It’s not too late to get in on the action. Join us and get behind the rods for some great table hockey action and an even better social experience. Great competition, sportsmanship and comradery is what makes the New York Table Hockey League second to none.