The NYTHL’s third league date of the 2021-2022 season took place this past Saturday at Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island, New York. Thirteen players from four states competed in a double round robin that totaled 24 games. The Chief proved that last month’s debut was not smoking mirrors. His repeated stellar play proved that he has already arrived as a legitimate threat to the players at the top. Anthony Sciacca continued his impressive run through the schedule as did Paul Crescitelli who made through to his first Final. Lee Hendelman and Derek Nisbett made spirited first debuts as Brian Sullivan and Larry Durham up their games. In the end Vinny Catania once again prevailed, closing out a very entertaining and competitive day for all.
League Date Three’s double round robin saw League Champion Vinny Catania for a second month in a row tear through his schedule without a loss. The Vinner posted a 22-0-2 record to gain the top seed. The ageless Anthony Sciacca continues to defy the odds by dominating the younger competition finishing as the second seed with an impressive 16-3-5 record. Len Mecca finished another solid league date with a 14-5-5 mark which earned him the third seed. The always tough Chris D’Andrea bolted into the fourth seed with a 13-7-4 record. The Chief in only his second league date, continued to turn heads as he posted the same record as D’Andrea but was bumped down to fifth because of D’Andrea’s slightly better goal differential. The two split their two head to head games. Paul Crescitelli and George Slater both finished 9-8-7 with Crescitelli gaining the six seed via goal differential. Those two also split their head to head matchups. Bob D’Addario finished 10-10-4 and gained the eighth seed. Larry Durham played better finishing ninth, as did Brian Sullivan who posted personal bests in several categories finishing tenth on the day. Walter Zissler finished eleventh and the Debuting Lee Hendelman and Derek Nisbett finished as the twelfth and thirteen seeds as they each earned their first league win against the other. On to the playoffs.
With the top three players (Vinny, Anthony, and Len) all receiving byes, the next ten each played in a best of three series to see who would join them in the Quarterfinals. Four seed Chris D’Andrea swept past Lee Hendelman. Five seed The Chief Swept past Derek Nisbett. Six Seed Paul Crescitelli Swept Walter Zissler. Seven seed George Slater Swept past Brian Sullivan. The only upset (in this case minor) was when ninth seeded Larry Durham dispatched eight seed Bob “The Mouth” D’Addario, sweeping him by scores of 6-3 an 1-0. We now move on to the Quarter-Finals.
With a trip to the Semis awaiting the winners, The Vinner punched his ticket by sweeping past Larry Durham 3-0 games. The ageless two seed Anthony Sciacca met his younger clone in defense seventh seed George Slater. In the past Sciacca has been a thorn in Slater’s side, but not on this day. Slater’s defense was on full display as he swept past Anthony 3-0 games. In the process, George allowed just one goal in the series winning by scores of 3-0, 3-0, and 3-1. In another upset, six seed Paul Crescitelli continues his quick ascent to the top as he swept past third seed Len Mecca. Paul bested Len by scores of 4-3, 5-2 and 5-0. In what proved to be the most competitive Quarter-Final series, League powerhouse fourth seeded Chris D’Andrea defeated the fifth seeded Chief in a close, well played series. Chris took the first two games by scores of 3-2. The Chief rebounded with a 3-2 victory of his own before bowing out after a game four 5-3 loss. D’Andrea took the final spot in the Semis, but the Chief proved he is an imminent threat to those at the top. On to the Semis.
The League Date Three Semi-Finals featured some interesting matchups. One seed Vinny Catania faced the seventh seed George Slater. The Vinner won in a sweep, but the series was indeed much closer than the final game tally. The Vinner took game one 4-1. Slater scored a late goal in game two to force overtime, but Catania prevailed in the extra session by a 3-2 score. The Vinner fought off a very game George Slater 5-4 to advance to the Finals. Three Seed Chris D’Andrea who made the Finals at League Date one, before missing league date two took on six seed Paul Crescitelli. Chris took game one by a 3-1 margin. Paulie then tied the series with a 5-4 victory in game two. Paul then earned his first trip to a league date Final when he took games three and four by identical scores of 4-2. It was a battle of the C’s as Catania would take on Crescitelli in the Final.
When Paul Crescitelli started in the N.Y.T.H.L. just one year ago he let it be known that he wasn’t coming in to the league to just be another player. He was attacking the top spot - in this case Vinny Catania. Paul has made good on his promise as he already has a rookie of the year and a league date final appearance now on his resume. What he doesn’t yet have is a victory against Catania. There have been some close games and even a round robin tie. Looking at the history – it was indeed a monumental task for Paulie to not only win his first game, but having to win three out of five against The Vinner. Catania took control of the series early and never looked back as he swept Paul by scores of 6-1, 8-2 and 8-2. For Catania it marked the 24th straight League Date / Playoff Championship. For Paulie it was another step toward his climb to a championship.
With new and exciting players comes new friendships and rivalries. Become part of the action by joining us. We will be back at Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island on Saturday January 22, 2022. If you love table hockey or are even curious about it – come down and check the NYTHL out. With talented players like John Power, Chris D’Andrea, Len Mecca, George Slater, Anthony Sciacca, Paul Crescitelli, The Chief and Bob D’Addario to name just a few I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the competition or fun you will have. What are you waiting for? Get behind the rods! For more in depth game results, stats and standings please log on to WWW.NYTHL.COM
See you next month!