The NYTHL’s Eighth and final league date before the playoffs for the 2021-2022 season took place this past Saturday and the day was jam packed with great action! Fourteen players from four states competed in a grueling double round robin totaling twenty-six games followed by a full playoff tournament. When the smoke cleared the day concluded with a second consecutive League Date Final between John “J.P.” Power and Vinny “The Vinner” Catania. Let’s review the day and find out what unfolded.
This month - League Date Eight featured a Double round robin. New York Table Hockey Icon – John Power reigned supreme when round robin play concluded. He edged out N.Y.T.H.L. Champion Vinny Catania by one point. Power’s record of 20-2-4 (44 Points) earned him the one seed on the day. The Vinner although tied with Chris D’Andrea with 43 points earned the two seed because of his 20-3-3 record which was two more wins than D’Andrea’s record of 18-1-7. Chris lost just once on the day, but his seven ties dropped him to the third seed. Paul Crescitelli continues his ascent to the top of the N.Y.T.H.L... Paul - the 2020-2021 rookie of the year has made the jump right into the top handful of players this season. He started the day with five consecutive shutouts. Paul’s record of 15-7-4 earned him the four seed. The afore mentioned four top seeds all finished in a tie, yielding just 47 goals each on the day. Good defense usually translates into wins as was proven in this case. Bob D’Addario’s 14-7-5 mark, made him the fifth seed. Table hockey veteran Len Mecca who has been playing super of late, finished 14-9-3 for the sixth spot. George Slater’s 12-9-5 mark put him in as the seventh seed. Larry Durham’s 11-12-3 tally rounded out the top eight. N.Y.T.H.L. rookie of the year candidate Arnie Layton finished 10-13-3 as the ninth seed. Anthony Sciacca who continues to work his way back into form, played his way to a 9-13-4 mark as he finished tenth. The improving Walter Zissler had seven wins, earning him the eleventh spot. Speaking of improvement – Lee Hendelman recorded 5 wins landing him twelfth. Mike Gershon also has shown signs of improvement, finishing thirteenth. Derek Nesbett once again was winless, however he is getting closer to victory as evidenced by several close losses. Nesbett was the fourteenth seed. On to the League Date Eight Playoff tournament.
This month with fourteen players, the one and two seeds John Power and Vinny Catania would each receive a bye. The remaining twelve would each play a best of three series to see which six winners would join J.P. and The Vinner in the Quarter-Finals of the “A” playoffs. The six who lost would move down to the “B” tournament. Chris swept past Derek as did Paul over Mike. Bob swept Lee, and Len swept Walter. George Slater defeated Anthony Sciacca two games to one. After losing game one, Arnie came back to defeat Larry in the final two games to win the series 2-1. On to the Quarter-Finals
The one seed John Power had a tough Quarter-Final draw when he was opposed by his practice partner and up and coming star – Arnie Layton. The ninth seeded Layton kept the games close, but in the end was still swept by J.P. by scores of 2-1, 5-2 and 4-3. The second seed Vinny Catania did not have as much trouble in his sweep over seven seed George Slater by scores of 5-1, 9-1 and 5-0. After dropping game one to three seed Chris D’Andrea, the six seeded Len Mecca then took the next three games by scores of 5-4, 4-3 and 2-1 in overtime to complete the small upset of D’Andrea. Fourth seed Paul Crescitelli defeated five seed Bob D’Addario in overtime in game one by a score of 3-2. Bob tied the series, winning game two by a 4-2 margin. Paul then repeated his magic with another 3-2 overtime victory in game three. Cresciteli then closed out the series with a 5-2 conquest earning his way into the Semi-Finals.
John Power and Len Mecca, two original members dating back to the days of the N.Y.C.T.H.A. once again would do battle to see who would advance to the Finals. J.P. defeated Len in game one 5-1. As always the crafty Mecca adjusted and rallied to win game two 5-4. J.P. retook the series lead with a 3-1 victory. Len once again tied the series with a 3-1 victory of his own to force a deciding fifth game. Len Mecca took multiple one goal leads in the game’s final minute only to see J.P. come back and tie it up. It was very fitting that when the clock struck zero, these two would need overtime to decide a winner. Unfortunately for Mecca, J.P. would gain possession of the puck off of the faceoff and one left-wing to center pass would end the game and series just four seconds into overtime. J.P.’s 5-4 overtime victory propelled him into his second straight League Date Final. Two seed Vinny Catania defeated four seed Paul Crescitelli by a narrow 3-2 margin. Paul added two late goals to a slim one goal lead to finish off the Vinner in game two by a 7-4 margin. With the series tied The Vinner rallied for a 7-3 victory, then followed it with a 4-1 win to defeat Paul three games to one and earn his way to another League Date Final with J.P… Paul – one of the league’s road warriors organizes the M.V.T.H.L. in his hometown in Massachusetts. His dedication and frequent play on various boards has turned him into a very good player and an immediate threat to win the N.Y.T.H.L. Championship. As for now it’s on to the Final.
In a rematch many predicted to see - League Champion Vinny Catania would once again face New York table hockey superstar John Power. The two met two months ago in the Semi-Finals with The Vinner winning a very tight series, three games to one. They met again last month in the League Date seven finals which the Vinner rallied from two games to one down, to win the series 3-2 games. This month J.P. won the double round earning him the one seed and home ice advantage. J.P. jumped out to a 3-0 lead, only to see the Vinner score the final five goals to win game one by a 5-3 score. The Vinner took game two a little more convincingly with a 4-1 triumph. J.P. warded off elimination with a solid 6-2 victory. The Vinner then held on for a 5-4 victory in game four to earn himself the League Date Eight title. J.P. finished second with Paul by virtue of the standings finishing third.
The six players who lost in the preliminary round then played a “B” playoff tournament. In Quarter-Final action, eight seed Larry Durham and ten seed Anthony Sciacca each received a bye. Walter swept past Derek in three games. Lee also won in a sweep over Mike. In the Semi-Finals the eight seed Larry dropped game one to the twelve seed Lee Hendelman. Larry then rebounded to take the final three games to win the series three games to one and earn a trip to this month’s “B” Final. Ten seed Anthony Sciacca also won his series over eleventh seed Walter Zissler by a three games to one margin. Anthony would meet Larry for the League date “B” title. Anthony opened the series with Larry with successive victories of 3-1 and 4-2 respectively. Larry struck back ibn game three with a 5-4 victory of his own. Larry then had a chance to tie the series with a goal once game four went to overtime. Instead Sciacca scored to win the game 4-3 and the series three games to one to earn his second straight League Date “B” Championship of the year.
Another great date was now part of history. Old rivalries grow more intense as new ones are forms. With great people, players, and a great venue with the best games to play on - What are you waiting for? Come on down and check out the action, or better yet – jump right in. GET BEHIND THE RODS AND GET IN THE GAME! You will be glad you did. Join us to see who will win this year’s N.Y.T.H.L. Championship. Can the Vinner repeat for a fourth time or will a new champion be crowned? Our next date is Saturday June 25, 2022 – join us to find out. For more info go to www.nythl.com. See you next month.