The NYTHL’s Eighth league date of the 2020-2021 season took place this past Saturday at Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island, New York. Observing all Covid 19 Safety Protocols, 12 players from three states competed in a double round robin that totaled 22 games. Dave Thomas made his return to play after a yearlong absence. Phil Lynch also returned after missing the past few league dates, picking up where he left off with solid play. A phenomenal day of spirited competition was capped by Vinny Catania securing his twentieth straight NYTHL tournament victory without surrendering a single loss. Let’s review the day
It was known ahead of time that John Power and Phil Lynch would only be able to compete in the double round robin. With ten competing in the playoffs, this month’s format had the top six remaining players qualifying for the Quarter-Finals with the bottom four facing off in order to see which two would join them in the Quarter-Finals. League Champion Vinny Catania who barely edged out John Power by a single point last month, ran away with first place this month. Catania compiled a 21-0-1 record which was good for 43 points. Chris D’Andrea (14-5-3) finished a distant second – twelve points off the pace. Bob D’Addario performed well going 12-5-5 finishing in 3rd. Len Mecca finished fourth at 12-9-1. John Power (10-8-4) finished fifth, one point behind Mecca. The steadily improving Phil Lynch returned and performed well finishing sixth. Phil compiled a 9-6-4 record before having to leave for the day. Paul Criscitelli the league’s top rookie of the year candidate finished seventh at 9-10-2. The eighth spot went to George Slater who admittedly had a disappointing day finishing just 8-10-4. Another player who continues to show marked improvement – Walter Zissler finished ninth at 7-10-4. Larry Durham and Brian Sullivan also had rough days finishing 3-13-6. Larry’s 1-0-1 record versus Brian gave him the higher (10) seed. Dave Thomas made everyone’s day by returning to action. Although he didn’t win, he managed two ties and several competitive matches. Dave was the twelfth seed. On to the playoffs.
The Preliminary round saw now seven seed Walter Zissler Sweep now ten seed Dave Thomas by scores of 5-3 and 3-1. The now Eight seed Larry Durham defeated the now nine seed Brian Sullivan 6-5 and 5-0 respectively. On to the Quarters.
The Quarter-Finals saw one seed Vinny “The Vinner” Catania sweep Eight seed Larry Durham by scores of 5-3, 7-1 and 7-3. Two seed Chris D’Andrea also swept past seventh seed Walter Zissler by scores of 4-2, 6-1, and 5-1. In one of the league’s best rivalries – three seed Bob D’Addario lost the first two games to six seed George Slater by scores of 2-1 and 3-1. After George predicting an imminent sweep, D’Addario rolled up his sleeves and put forth a courageous comeback as he went on to win the next three games by scores of 5-3, 5-0 and 3-2 to earn a trip to the Semi-Finals. The Final spot in the Semis was determined when fourth seed Len Mecca swept past fifth seed Paul Criscitelli. Mecca won game one in overtime 5-4, the won game two 4-3 and sealed the series with a 2-0 shutout to earn a trip to the next round versus Vinny Catania.
Top seed Vinny Catania met four seed Len Mecca in a very close, intense series. Although the Vinner swept Mecca, all the games were close. The Vinner won game one 2-1. Mecca fell just short of tying the series in game two, falling in overtime 3-2. The Vinner finally pulled away slightly in game three, winning 5-2 and earning thus another trip to the Finals. With Catania advancing to the final – two seed Chris D’Andrea would face three seed Bob D’Addario to see who would join him in the Final. Bob used stellar defensive play to shutout Chris 1-0 in game one. D’Andrea rebounded to take games two and three by scores of 6-3 and 4-2. Facing elimination, the Bob O responded with a 4-1 victory to tie the series. IN the deciding game five, Bob in an attempt to clear the zone, had the puck checked off his stick and into the net for a late 2-1 Chris lead. Bob came back in the final moments with a right wing to center goal to tie the game and send the series into sudden death overtime. Chris D’Andrea utilized of all things a perfectly executed net launcher to defeat Bob 3-2 and earn a date versus The Vinner in the League Date VIII Finals.
One seed Vinny Catania and two seed Chris D’Andrea were separated by twelve points in round robin action. League Champ Vinny Catania edged out Chis earlier in the day by scores of 3-2 and 4-2. The Final Series wasn’t much different. The games were close, but in the end it was Catania in a sweep, winning by scores of 5-3, 5-1 and a 1-0 shutout to seal the sweep and his Twentieth consecutive NYTHL tournament victory.
With eight league dates in the books, just one date remains. On Saturday June 12, 2021, the N.Y.T.H.L. Championship Playoff Tournament will decide this year’s Champion. It’s not too late to get in on the action. With one round robin left – anyone can play. You can then stick around to watch the exciting playoff action. Join us and get behind the rods for some great table hockey action and an even better social experience. Great competition, sportsmanship and comradery is what defines the New York Table Hockey League.