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10/12/02

The Inaugural season of the ACTHL begin last night with a few surprises. The Core-Of-Four were there of course, but a new comer from the Niagara Falls area, now living in Hoboken, joined us for the birth of our new league.

 

Starting off the evenings festivities, saw James Friedl the ACTHL pre-season #1 seed received the bye in the first round of play. The first match of the night would pit the #2 seed Philip Valensi with “Home” advantage, playing on his feared Munro Bobby Hull, against Kyle Brinson, the Buffalo Sabres fans from Niagara Falls. Entering this game, Philip had a 3-2 record on his table.

 

It was baptismal by fire. Philip scored the first 13 goals, until Kyle became familiar with the Munro table with 30 seconds remaining in the game. Ten seconds after, Philip tallied his final goal of the contest. Not to let Philip have the final word, Kyle scored two seconds later, ending the scoring with an unmitigated 14-2. To be fair, Kyle was matched with a wizard on his own turf. I myself would fall prey to his sleight of hand later that same evening.

 

The second challenge of the first round would have old friends duel. The #4 seed Jerry Randell and #3 Adam Zawislak, both Coleco players would play on Adam’s ’80 Coleco Stanley Cup table. Heading into this match of wills, the pre-season results were split, with each having one win a piece.

 

Total domination by Jerry in the first period. He controlled time of possession, handcuffed Adam’s offensive to gain of 2-0 lead after the first minutes of play. The second period, Adam fought back to score two goals of his own (3:29 & 2:10) to tie the game at 2-2. Jerry would regain the lead 18 second later, plus another at the :50 second mark giving him a 4-2 favorable advantage. Requiring a goal to stay within striking distances, Adam put one passed his opponents goalie with 12 seconds remaining on the clock. The period would end with Jerry up 4-3.

 

The third period Jerry’s defense, which was nonexistence in the final pre-season games, finally arrived and made itself known in the final period. Unable to score, Adam was pressed by the Randell “D” and allowed defensive goal. The game would end Jerry 5 Adam 3.

 

Philip would now receive the bye in the second round, with 1-0 record and a +12 plus & minus.

 

Coming off the bench, James would now face a desperate Adam, who is facing elimination with another loss. Playing on a James modified early ‘80’s Coleco Stanley Cup table, James throws his challenger a curve by not playing on his Mr. Hockey table.

 

The opening period had James emerging as the early leader with two goals, one at 2:43 and the other at 1:43. Being down by a pair seemed to have awakened the dormant table hockey player. Adam ripped a goal pass the netminder with :06 seconds glowing on the clock. The first period would have a 2-1 outcome.

 

When a player is facing annihilation from a Round-Robin Tournament, sometimes he can find the will or vision to see passed the adversity that he is facing. For the next ten minutes, Adam held his opponent scoreless, during which he amounted three unanswered goals too win the game 4-2.

 

The final match of the second round, had the defensive Jerry against Kyle. Jerry held the contemporary table hockey player in check for all three periods. Jerry won the game by a final of 3-0, while holding his adversaries scoreless for a total of 5:12.

 

Kyle would be the first to fall in the season opening Round-Robin. We at the ACTHL want to thank him for participating in last nights Tournament. We would like to encourage him and any of his friends to join us next month (November 9th at 4:00) for another Round-Robin. Thanks Kyle!

 

The two earlier first and second round bye winners, #1 and #2 James and Philip would now clash. Philip secured “Home” advantage with a +12 to James –2 Plus/Minus.

 

The opening period ended with Philip leading 3-2, thanks to two goals one second apart (:31 and :30). The second period would be the beginning of the end for James. Philip scored eight goals to James two lone goals. The final period had Philip and James trading scores, with five for Philip and four for James. The final was 16-8, Philip. Philip would now await the winner between Jerry and Adam to challenge for Octobers Round-Robin championship.

 

With the knowledge that the winner of this match would play Philip in the final, the two contenders took their places behind the freshly waxed Coleco table.

 

After stonewalling both Kyle and Adam earlier, could Jerry bare down another 15 minutes to advance to the final? Adam would turn the table against Jerry at 4:24, 1:38 and 0:38 to take a 3-0 lead after the first. Adam tallied a fast goal 0:45 seconds into the second period to build on to his lead. Jerry put one on the board midway thought the period making it 4-1. The third period Jerry shutdown Adam  offense and added another goal, but time ran out and the final was 4-2 Adam.

 

The final would be Adam (2-1 11, 9, +2) against Philip (2-0 30, 10, +20) on the Munro Bobby Hull table w/ roller puck. Prior to this match-up, the two contestants split two historic pre-season overtime games both on the same Munro table.

 

This match-up could not live up to the previous OT games. It was over as soon as the roller puck as dropped by the referee. Even the stat-keeper stopped keeping track of the times of the goals early in this massacre. The final was 15-2 Philip.

 

The first ACTHL monthly Round-Robin goes to Philip Valensi. Phil amount a 3-0 record, while piling up 45 goals and only allowing 12 goals. Unbelievable!!!  Congratulations to Philip!!!

 

Question now is, “Who can knock him off his Munro table next month?”

 

I also want to thank Tim Silo for showing interest in the ACTHL. Sorry, we couldn’t fit you in October’s Round-Robin, but I’ll be e-mailing you about the upcoming ACTHL schedule, and some of the finer table hockey Websites including ours of course.

 

Until next month !!!!

 

PS. Philip, I’ll be practicing on my Munro Bobby Hull 61227.