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KENNY DUBOIS BRINGS HIS GAME IN NUMEROUS WAYS ENROUTE TO NYTHL 2023-2024 LEAGUE DATE VII WIN.


The NYTHL’s seventh league date of the season took place on Saturday April 20, 2024 at Rab’s on Staten Island.  It featured sixteen competitors from five different states and two countries.  Two legends were in attendance on this day.  Dave Reid once again made his way from Ennismore Ontario.  Dave competes all day long (very well I might add), then goes to work in front of the TV cameras at NHL Network.  Dave’s presence is no longer a surprise as he has become a regular and a perennial league power.  What was a surprise was the appearance of table hockey legend Kenny Dubois.  Kenny occasionally will pop in for an appearance which gives everyone in the league a chance to compete against one of the very best.  Mr. Dubois did not come empty handed.  After many years of anticipation, Kenny finally unveiled his new S-Slot board.  These are the ones used throughout the U.S., Canada and here in the N.Y.T.H.L...  His new board was a huge hit.  Virtually everything about it is an improvement over the ones on the market today.  Everything from the playing surface, puck catchers, grips, nets and anything else vital to game play has been upgraded.  More info about the game will soon be available on www.nythl.com website.  Now let’s review the action.  With Kenny in attendance, he of course was the heavy favorite.  He has made a handful of appearances at league dates since the league’s inception and has won them all.  His last appearance was two seasons ago on March 12, 2022.  He went 14-0-0 in round robin play then swept his way through the playoffs enroute to that year’s league date six victory.  We will see if League Champion Vinny Catania or anyone else for that matter will have better luck this time around.

     Now it’s time to review the action.  The sixteen players did compete in round robin play.  Phil Brancucci announced he couldn’t participate in the playoffs.  So only the top player would receive a bye in the end of day playoffs.  Second through fifteenth place then did battle with the seven winners joining the top seed in the “A” playoffs and the seven who lost competing in the “B” tournament.  When all was said and done – it was the defending league champion Vinny Catania who earned the top seed with a 14-0-1 record.  His only blemish was a last game tie against Dave Reid.  The great Kenny Dubois finished second with a 13-2-0 mark.  Kenny suffered a 6-4 setback to Len Mecca and a 4-2 loss to Catania.  Dave Reid finished third just three points behind Dubois at 10-2-3.  George Slater continued his solid play as he earned fourth with a 10-4-1 tally.  Chris D’Andrea was fifth at 9-4-2.  Len “The Mechanism” Mecca fresh off his third place finish in last month’s Detroit tournament placed sixth at 8-4-3.  Anthony Sciacca rounded out the top eight with a record of 8-7-0.  Lee Hendelman who continues his improvement was 6-7-2 (ninth).  Last year’s league finalist Bob D’Addario continued to struggle.  He posted a 4-5-6 mark which landed him tenth.  Brian Sullivan who flew in to Boston late Friday then slept just two hours before driving down to compete was 6-8-1 landing him eleventh.  Not too bad considering the circumstances.  Rob Brancucci 4-7-4 was twelfth.  Phil Brancucci thirteenth, Hank Librandi fourteenth, and Derek Nisbett fifteenth each had two wins.  Mike DiGiulio (sixteenth) didn’t record a win or a tie, but is showing improvement after just two league dates

     In the best of three Preliminary round Vinny Catania received the bye.  Seeds two through eight all defeated their lower seeded opponents.  Kenny Dubois, Dave Reid, George Slater, Chris D’Andrea, Len Mecca, and Anthony Sciacca all swept their opponents.  Bob D’Addario jumped out to win game one in his series versus Walter Zissler.  Walt then stormed back to take the next two to advance to the “A” Quarter-Finals and send D’Addario to the “B’ tournament

     In the “A” Best of Five Quarterfinal round, one seed Vinny Catania swept past the ageless Anthony Sciacca by scores of 5-2, 5-1 and 4-0.  The two seed Kenny Dubois also swept seven seed Walter Zissler by scores of 6-5, 3-2 and 4-3.  The third seed Dave Reid needed four games to decide his series against six seed Len Mecca.  Dave won games one and two by scores of 5-2 and 4-3.  Mecca rebounded in game three with a 5-4 victory.  Reid then closed Len out by winning game four 6-4 for the 3-1 series victory.  Four seed George Slater locked horns with fifth seed Chris D’Andrea.  Chris took game one 3-2.  George tied the series by winning an exciting game two 2-1.  Game three was even better with Slater winning in overtime 5-4.  D’Andrea was not done as he battled back to tie the series with a 4-3 victory in game four.  With a trip to the next round on the line, D’Andrea powered past George 4-2 to take the series in five.  The Semi-Finals were now set.

     In the Semis the one seed Vinny Catania was able to sweep past fifth seed Chris D’Andrea by scores of 4-0, 4-1 and 6-2.  The Vinner’s opponent was decided when second seed Kenny Dubois swept past the rapidly improving third seed Dave Reid by scores of 8-1, 4-1 and 6-2.  It was Catania versus Dubois in the League Date Seven Final.

     With the stage set it was time for the Final.  The last time Kenny appeared at a league date was two years ago at NYTHL league date six.  He swept Catania on that day by scores of 5-3, 6-0 and 4-1.  This time it was much of the same in game one.  Kenny connected on two beautiful rightwing to center low tips in the game’s first two minutes, then scored three goals in the final minute to take game one 5-0.  The Vinner struck back in game two using a variety of shots.  The Vinner converted on numerous rightwing to center shots, 1 defensive Pico, one loose puck center goal and a lucky bounce goal for a 7-3 victory to tie the series.  The pivotal game three was probably the most exciting game of all.  Dubois opened the scoring with sort of a mid range rightwing to center tip in for the 1-0 lead.  The game stayed that way until the Vinner converted on a rightwing to center high tip to tie the score with less than two minutes left.  Kenny then broke the tie with a leftwing to center high tip with 1:01 remaining.  The two went back and forth in search of the next goal.  The Vinner connected on a rightwing to center shot which found the back of the net, but rebounded out then died on the goal line.  Because shots must remain in the net in order to count, the score remained 2-1.  Unfortunately for Catania the game ended that way.  With a two games to one lead Dubois took control in game four opening the scoring with a rebound center shot, then a rightwing off the wall trick shot for a two goal lead just a little over a minute in.  About thirty seconds later Kenny connected on a behind the net rightwing to leftwing to center tip in.  The scored remained that way until the game’s final minute.  Kenny added two more to put the game and series away.  A Vinner rightwing to center High tip with just eight seconds remaining prevented the shutout.  Dubois took the game by a 5-1 score and the series 3-1 games to take the league date six title.  Through the years Kenny has attended five league dates and has won them all.  It’s always a blast when he pops in.  It allows the League on a whole to test their game against a top notch opponent and share in some great company.  The debut of his game made this appearance an extra special one.

     Dave Reid defeated Chris D’Andrea three games to two in the best of five consolation series for third place overall.  Chris took game one 3-2.  Reid took games two and three by scores of 2-1 and 3-2.  D’Andrea tied the series with a 6-4 victory in game four.  Dave then won the series with an exciting 4-3 triumph in game five.  In the “B’ Playoff tournament, Lee Hendelman received a bye.  In the best of five Quarter-Finals - Bob D’Addario Swept Mike Digiulio, Brian Sullivan swept Derek Nisbett and Robert Brancucci swept Hank Librandi.  In the Semi-Finals Rob Brancucci took down Lee Hendelman three games to one.  Bob D’Addario defeated Brian Sullivan in four games as well.  The “B” Finals were set.  The ten seed Bob D’Addario took on twelfth seed Rob Brancucci.  D’Addario took game one via a 4-0 shutout.  Rob Brancucci rebounded quite well taking the next two games by 6-5 scores.  D’Addario tied the series with a 3-2 victory, thus forcing game five.  Bob D’Addario had the game and series in the bag with about 35 seconds left and a two goal lead.  That was until Robert B. pumped in three goals in the game’s final half minute to win an exciting game five by a 5-4 score.  That was Robert’s first “B” championship.  Congratulations to him as he is without a doubt the league’s most enthusiastic player.  He has also devoted a lot of time to improving his game and it is paying dividends.

     Another exciting league date is in the books.  Next month on May 11th the league will have its final league date before its June Year end Championship.  There will be a double round robin and for the first time ever – no post round robin playoff tournament.  This will help build the anticipation for the year end Championship.  We also expect another new player or two to debut.  Table hockey and the N.Y.T.H.L. continue to grow as more and more are being turned on or reintroduced to this great sport.  Dare I ask?  Now with even better games to play on and great people to compete on them – what are you waiting for?  Get behind the rods and Join the NYTHL.  Like so many others, you will be glad you did.  See you at League Date VIII on Saturday May 11, 2024 at our home Rabs.


Until next month – Be Well!

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