The NYTHL’s second league date of its 6th season kicked off this past Saturday at Plycon in East Northport, New York. As always many safety precautions were put in place to observe all Covid-19 Proto calls. Again eleven players from three states competed in a double round robin and playoffs. Table hockey legend Steve Bernstein made his NYTHL debut as his stellar defense was on full display. The Stein surrendered just 37 goals - the least amount during round robin play. Phil Lynch had one of his best days yet as he continues to improve. Chris D’Andrea’s rise to the top continued as he fought his way into the Finals. Bob D’Addario woke from his slumber and re-appeared in the Semi-Finals. Vinny Catania swept his way through the playoffs, losing just once the entire day enroot to the League Date 2 title. Let’s review the day
The double round robin was once again highly competitive. This month with a very capable field of participants competing everyone would make the “A” Playoffs. The top five spots would receive byes as the bottom six would playoff so that the three winners could join the top five in the Quarterfinals. Competition in the league continues to intensify as rivalries become more prevalent and more heated. League Champion Vinny “The Vinner” Catania was defeated just once during double round robin play as he finished 15-4-1 for the top seed. Chris D’Andrea had another great day as he finished second on the day with a 12-4-4 mark. Third seed went to table hockey legend Steve Bernstein. The Stein made his way from Massachusetts to compete on an unfamiliar board. As is the case with many of the great table hockey players, his experience and success on other boards enabled him to attain instant success on the S-Slot. The Stein who has won titles on The Benej, Monroe and Stiga displayed what makes him a top player. His Defense. The Stein surrendered just 37 goals in twenty round robin games for a 1.85 goals against average. Not a bad start to his NYTHL career. Stellar defense led him to an 11-6-3 mark. The fourth seed went to another table hockey great – The Rod Warrior Len Mecca. His 10-7-3 record slightly bested John Power’s 9-6-5 tally. The extra win Mecca recorded dropped power to the fifth seed. The sixth spot went to Bob D’Addario. The Bob O finished 9-8-3 and has been a bit lethargic in the season’s early going. He did however get things together on the playoffs. Seventh seed belonging to the steadily improving Phil Lynch 7-9-4. The eighth spot was occupied by George Slater who has struggled getting out of the gate thus far. George finished the day 8-11-1. Anthony Sciacca did not enjoy the success of his first league date as he finished just 6-11-3 good for ninth. Brian Sullivan finished 10th at 4-14-2 and Larry Durham had a rough day, finishing last with a 2-16-2 tally. Larry was nursing a bad shoulder and bravely chose to battle through the pain instead of sitting it out. Let’s move on to the playoff tournament summary.
With the top five seeds on byes, the “A” tournament best of five Preliminary round began. Six seeded Bob D’Addario showed no mercy as he swept past injured eleventh seeded Larry Durham by scores of 10-1, 5-0 and 3-2. Seventh Seed Phil Lynch swept past ten seed Brian Sullivan. Phil took game one in Overtime by a 4-3 score. Lynch then took games two and three by identical 5-2 scores. In another barn burner in what has become one of the league’s best rivalries ninth seeded Anthony Sciacca defeated George Slater in a tough five game series. Slater took game one 2-1 in overtime. Sciacca rebounded with an overtime victory of his own in game two 3-2. Slater took a 2-1 lead in the series with a convincing 5-1 game three victory. Sciacca then put on a tremendous defensive exhibition by shutting out George 1-0 in game four. He then repeated the feat in game five with another 1-0 shutout to win the series 3-2. On to the Quarter-Finals.
The top seeded Vinny Catania renewed one of his first rivalries with ninth seeded Anthony Sciacca. Anthony did beat The Vinner in both round robin games last month by 5-4 scores. The Vinner beat Antony 3-1 and tied him at 4 earlier in the day. It’s easy to say that the ageless Sciacca was not someone The Vinner preferred to see early in the playoffs. The Vinner battled to a hard fought 3-1 victory in game one, and a 4-2 victory in game two. The Vinner completed the sweep with a nail-biting 4-3 victory to move into the Semi-Finals. Second seed Chris D’Andrea faced seventh seed Phil Lynch. Lynch stunned Chris in game one with a 5-2 triumph. Chris then clamped down on Phil winning the next three straight by scores of 4-2, 4-0, 4-2 for a 3-1 series win. The third seed Steve Bernstein battled sixth seed Bob D’Addario. With defense a top priority of both players, this figured to be a tough, low scoring series. Bob took game one by a 2-1 margin. Bob then took game two with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. The Stein with the heart of a champion battled back against the Bob O defeating him 4-3. The Stein then finally succumb to the more experienced S-Slot playing D’Addario by a score of 3-1, thus losing the series by the same 3-1 margin. After a slow start to the season – D’Addario found himself playing better and back in the Semi-Finals. The last spot in the semis was determined when longtime rivals fourth seeded Len Mecca mat fifth seeded John Power. These two have battled too many times to count over the years. They also finished in a tie in round robin play, but Mecca’s one more win earned him the home rink advantage. J.P. put forth a stellar effort to take game one 2-0. He followed that up with a 7-2 blowout victory over Mecca. Len rebounded in overtime to take game three 2-1. Power then ended all hopes of a Mecca comeback by defeating Len 4-3 in overtime to take the series 3-1 games. We move to the Semi-Finals.
Top seeded Vinny Catania had only one loss on the day. It was a 4-3 defeat to D’Addario. The Vinner avenged that loss with a 3-0 shutout victory in the second round robin. Now the stakes were much higher. Riding the high of a four game victory over The Stein – D’Addario was filled with confidence as he repeatedly told the Vinner that today was the day he was going down. Unfortunately, the results fell a little short of D’Addario’s expectations. The Vinner Rolled past the Bob O by sweeping him in three successive blow outs. The Vinner stormed his way into the Finals with consecutive victories of 5-2, 7-2 and 11-2. Although it was a bitter end, it did not dampen D’Addario’s mood as he was happy to advance to his first Semi-Final this year. The Vinner’s opponent was determined when second seed Chris D’Andrea swept his way past fifth seeded John Power by scores of 2-1, 1-0 and 6-1. The win was redemption for Chris who lost to Power in last month’s Semi-Finals. It would be a battle of one versus two seed in the Finals.
With both players sweeping past their Semi-Final opponents, something had to give in the League Date Two Final. Top Seed Vinny Catania was able to cool down second seeded Chris D’Andrea in game one with a 7-2 victory. The Vinner followed that up with a 6-3 victory in game two. The series then shifted to D’Andrea’s board and he seemed to play better as it was 2-2 late before the Vinner pulled away with just seconds left for a 3-2 win and a 3-0 series sweep. The Vinner won League date two. The hard charging Chris D'andrea placed second and John Power by virtue of the standings finished third.
Two league dates are already in the books, and with so many people playing so many great games – what are you waiting for? Get behind the rods and join our growing league. Because our gamesare held at a spacious social distant venue where masks must be worn to compete and plenty of precautions are taken to ensure safety – we are one of the few leagues in North America still going. Great friends, Great food and great competition provide for a wonderful experience. Our next league date will be Saturday December 12, 2020. We expect a good turnout to end the calendar year in December. Come join us.