The NYTHL’s Second league date took place this past Saturday at Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island, New York. Eleven players from three states competed in a double round robin that totaled 20 games. The Chief made his much anticipated debut and made an immediate impact. Paul Crescitelli made his season debut and like The Chief – made the Semi-Finals. Mike Gershon, Walter Zissler, Arnie Layton and Brian Sullivan continue to show improvement. Let’s review the action packed day.
A summary of the double round robin reveals that defending league champion Vinny Catania finished first on the day with a 19-0-1 record. His only blemish on the entire day was a tie to Larry Durham. With some of the league’s top talent (John Power, Chris D’Andrea and George Slater) not in attendance, it created opportunity for others to impress. Anthony Sciacca took full advantage by finishing in second with a 12-5-3 record. The biggest surprise perhaps in the league’s seven-year history came when The Chief debuted. His third place finish was the best ever by a non-tournament player making his debut. The Chief finished with an 11-8-3 mark. Paul Crescitelli also played well finishing fourth at 9-7-4. After slow starts, Len Mecca placed fifth and Bob D’Addario sixth. Arnie Layton in just his second league date finished seventh at 8-9-3. Larry Durham’s 8-11-1 record was good for eighth with Walter Zissler finishing ninth, just one point behind Larry. Brian Sullivan finished strong, but his slow start kept him in a hole finishing tenth. Mike Gershon finished last, but played many close games – showing vast improvement.
With the top five players (Vinny, Anthony, The Chief, Paul and Len) all receiving byes, the next six each played in a best of three series to see who would join them in the Quarterfinals. Sixth seed Bob D’Addario swept past eleventh seed Mike Gershon 2-0 games. Seventh seed Arnie Layton also swept twelve seed Brian Sullivan 2-0 games by scores of 4-2 and 2-1 in Overtime. Eighth Seed Larry Durham also defeated Walter Zissler 2-0 games by scores of 3-2 in overtime and 6-3. With Bob, Arnie and Larry moving on it was time for the Quarter-Finals.
With a trip to the Semis on the line, The Vinner swept past Larry Durham 3-0 games. The ageless two seed Anthony Sciacca defeated seventh seed Arnie Layton, but it was not easy. Anthony won games one and two by scores of 4-2 and 3-2 respectively. Arnie took game three 6-4 but was finally put down for good when Sciacca who is known for his stellar defense clamped down on Arnie for a 3-0 victory to take the series three games to one. In what was a thrilling upset, the debuting three seed – The Chief took down league veteran Bob D’Addario in five games. D’Addario took game one by a 4-2 score. The Chief rebounded in Game two for a 4-3 victory to knot things up. D’Addario won game three 2-1, taking the lead in the series by the same margin. The remarkably resilient Chief again rebounded in game four to tie the series with a 4-2 victory. With the series on the line, it was The debuting Chief who displayed poise as he scored with just twenty seconds left to break a 3-3 tie to win game five by a 4-3 score. In his first ever appearance, The Chief charged his way into the Semi-Finals as D’Addario took the walk of shame to watch the rest of the playoffs from the stands. The last spot in the Semi-Finals was decided when Fourth seed Paul Crescitelli defeated Len Mecca in another exciting five game series. The two split the first four games, but Paul pulled away in the fifth and deciding game with a 5-1 victory. This would be Paulie’s first trip into a league date Semi-Final.
The League Date Two Semi-Finals featured some fresh new faces. One seed Vinny Catania faced a rapidly improving fourth seed Paul Crescitelli. The Vinner won in a sweep, but the wins did not come easy. Catania won by scores of 4-1, 5-3 and 9-5 to advance to the Finals. Second seed Anthony Sciacca squared off against the fourth seeded Chief. The ageless Anthony Sciacca exemplifies the ultimate in sportsmanship and respects all of his opponents. He takes no opponent for granted and that served him well because The Chief was hot happy just to be in the Semis. He was there to win. Sciacca took a thrilling game one in overtime by a 3-2 margin. The Chief as he had done all day, bounced back after a loss and won game two 2-1. Sciacca once again exerted his best strength, his defense enroute to a 1-0 victory. Sciacca then ended The Chief’s magical run by winning game four by a 4-1 score, thus taking the series three to one games. The Chief’s day was over, but for those in attendance it was notice that there is indeed a new Sheriff in town (in this case a Chief) and he means business. With the Semis in the books - It was Sciacca and Catania in the Finals.
When Vinny Catania first started playing in the then N.Y.C.T.H.L., his first big rival and obstacle was Anthony Sciacca. Now six years later, history repeated itself as the two met for the League Date Two Championship. On this day however, The Vinner proved to be a little too much for the Ageless Sciacca as he swept past Sciacca by scores of 6-0, 7-0 and 6-3 to take the League Date Two Title.
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 December 18, 2021. If you love table hockey or are even curious about it – come down and check the NYTHL out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. For more in depth game results, stats and standings please log on to WWW.NYTHL.COM
See you next month!