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The NYTHL’s Third league date of its sixth season kicked off this past Saturday at Plycon in East Northport, New York. With all Covid-19 safety proto calls in place, eight players from three states competed in a triple round robin and playoffs. It was the NYTHL debut for Todd D’Andrea (New York) and Paul Crescitelli (Massachusetts). Both players showed tremendous promise in their first appearance. With Todd now in the league it creates a natural rivalry with brother and top contender Chris D’Andrea. Paul will have a natural rival in Brian Sullivan as they will do battle to see who the top man from Massachusetts is. By day’s end, The Vinner would win the league date 3 title by defeating Len Mecca. Chris D’Andrea topped Bob D’Addario for third. Let’s review the day.

The triple round robin was a marathon totaling twenty-one games for each player. This time around with eight players participating, the round robin determined the Quarterfinal seeding. As always there were many great games. League Champion Vinny “The Vinner” Catania was not defeated as he finished 17-0-4 for the top seed. Chris D’Andrea had another stellar day as he finished second, with a 15-3-3 mark. In doing so – Chris gave up a league leading low of 33 goals in the twenty-one games. The veteran Len Mecca had his best date of the year going 12-5-4 for third place. Bob D’Addario took fourth with an 11-7-3 mark. George Slater was fifth at 10-9-2, and Brian Sullivan sixth registering a 4-14-3 record. In his debut – Paul Crescitelli managed to win two and tie four finishing seventh with eight points. Todd D’Andrea although not winning did manage three ties and a lot of close defeats. His three points landed him in eighth. It was then on to the playoffs.

In Quarter-Final action, top seeded league champion Vinny Catania defeated the debuting Todd D’Andrea by scores of 8-2, 4-0 and 9-1. Todd’s brother - second seed Chris fared better in his series by sweeping past Paul Crescitelli whose debut also came to an end in round one. Paul did force overtime in game one before losing 2-1. Crescitelli remained competitive, losing by scores of 4-2 and 2-0 in games two and three respectively. Third seed Len Mecca swept Massachusetts road warrior Brian Sullivan by scores of 4-2, 5-3 and 4-2. Sullivan as the scores would indicate is slowly but surely improving. The fourth seed Bob D’Addario renewed his rivalry with George Slater. These two have participated in some of the most hotly contested series in recent years. This time the Bob O had little trouble dispatching Slater by sweeping him by scores of 5-1, 4-3 and 3-1. It was then on to the Semi-Finals.

One seed Vinny Catania had to encounter his old practice partner Bob D’Addario for a trip to the Finals. D’Addario jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game one with just under 90 seconds left. The Vinner responded with three unanswered goals to defeat Bob 3-2. The Vinner won another close one in game two by the score of 2-1. The Bob O was unable to solve the Vinner’s defense in his game three loss by a score of 5-0 thus eliminating D’Addario. In the other half of the bracket, two seed Chris D’Andrea who gave up only thirty-three goals in twenty-one round robin games faced third seeded veteran Len Mecca. D’Andrea used that defense to edge Mecca in game one by a score of 3-2. Len as he often does, did a great job adjusting in series, and was able to solve D’Andrea’s D by tying the series with a 7-4 victory. Len then followed that up by winning game three 4-1 and game four 5-3. The win catapulted him into the Final against Catania. D’Andrea then faced Bob D’Addario in a best of three consolation series for third place. D’Andrea swept past Bob by scores of 4-1 and 4-2 to take third. The Bob O finished fourth on the day. It was on to the Finals.

Top seeded Vinny Catania hadn’t lost all day. Len Mecca pulled a minor upset over Chris D’Andrea to earn his spot in the Final. Would the Vinner be his next victim? The Vinner started the series with a nice neat 5-3 victory. Mecca as he always does - improved as he settles into a series. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Mecca held off the Vinner 2-1 to tie the series at a game apiece. That was the first and only loss of the day for Catania who then rolled in games three and four. The Vinner won game three 7-2, and game four 7-3 to take the series in four games. Mecca who played so well earned second on the day. The league date three win was the fifteenth consecutive league date title for The Vinner.

Three league dates are now in the books. With the league continuing to expand with new players, now is a great time to jump in and get your feet wet. A great venue with great competition of all levels spells F-U-N. What are you waiting for? Get behind the rods and join our growing league. Our games are held at a private, spacious, social distant venue where masks must be worn to compete. Numerous additional precautions are taken to ensure safety. For these reasons, we are one of the few leagues in North America still up and running. In these difficult and stressful times - table hockey is a great outlet. Give the New York Table Hockey League a try. Come join us at our next league date.


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