US Open: Chicago, July 18, 2014
Dave Kraehling outlasted Lou Marinoff in seven games to capture the 2014 U.S. Open title. Jim Rzonca, the tournament host, came in third.
The final series was marked by drama. Lou led 3 games to 2. With the clock running down, Dave scored a controversial tying goal. The ref ruled it a good goal, and the game went to overtime.
The controversy has led the NTHL to modify its rules on disputed goals. You can see the new rules HERE (rules).
The "B" winners were Eric Krol (first), John Medema (second), and Spencer Colbert (third).
Congratulations to Reggie Stefaniszyn (4th overall) and Eric Davis (6th overall). Reggie and Eric not only played well in the Coleco event; they were the two finalists in next day's Stiga event, won by Reggie. This is a good lesson for Stiga players! Far from tiring them out, playing Coleco the day before helped Reggie and Eric raise their intensity levels on Stiga.
Special commendations to the Chicago organizers for the superb playing quality of the Coleco boards. Anyone who plays on these fine classic boards, restored by Rich Thill, will experience vintage Coleco action at its best.
The food was also excellent: great pizza on Coleco night, and a world-class dinner after the Stiga event.
Thanks to the organizers Jim Rzonka and Eric Krol for hosting the event once again and thank you to everyone who participated.
B-pool winners: (1) Stéphane Roy, C-Pool winners: (1) Warren Morris,
(2) Sid Kloosterman, (3) Sergio Angelillo (2) Moussa Chermiti, (3) Eddie Deschênes
We look forward to seeing you all in New York, The Big Apple, on November 7th (Munro) and November 8th (Coleco). Will Carlo continue his
incredible streak, or will someone step up and take him down?
A-pool winners: Sam Anoussis (2), Carlo Bossio (1), Gino Bossio (3)
Honorable mentions go to Andre Pigeon, for finishing 5th in this tough field, and to John Fayolle, whose 12th place finish vaulted him into the
Congratulations to the B-pool winners: (1) Stéphane Roy, (2) Sid Kloosterman, (3) Sergio Angelilli, and to the C-pool winners: (1) Warren Morris,
(2) Moussa Chermiti,
(3) Eddie Deschênes. Every pool was competitive, and every trophy was deserved.
thirty-eight players faced off: a great time was had by all
In the playoffs, Carlo survived a tough quarter-final series against Dave Kraehling, who extended him to 5 games. Then the King dispatched Pat
Cote in a surprisingly short 3-game semi-final. At the same time, Gino Bossio eked out a game 5 win against Alex Anoussis in their quarter-final,
only to succumb to big brother Sam in the semis. Gino then defeated Pat for the bronze.
That set up yet another Carlo-Sam final, and this one went the distance. Deadlocked at 2-2, the series seemed up for grabs. Sam was playing
well, and in one of Sam's wins Carlo barely staved off being mercied (that is, falling 7 goals behind: game over!)
But in game 5, Carlo's table hockey wizardry conjured up a pair of timely goals out of nowhere, and he went on to win his 6th consecutive NTHL
event! Since finishing 3rd in Montreal in September 2013, Carlo has now won an entire cycle of NTHL tournaments in which he has played:
Toronto 2013, NY 2013, Quebec City 2014, Detroit 2014, Saint Sophie 2014, Montreal 2014. At least he leaves Chicago to the rest of us!
Table Hockey Goes to School: King Carlo Tops the Class
Montreal, September 13, 2014
The NTHL's 2014 Montreal event took place in the gym of an east-end school, where Carlo Bossio passed every test, and gave his familiar clinic on winning. Thirty-eight players faced off, including the NTHL's current top 13, plus returning table hockey talents like Denis Begin, Michel Decarie, and Mario Ouellet.
« Toronto Open II » Tournament : Saturday December 6th 2014
In Toronto on December 6th was held the 4th step of the NTHL. For this second edition, the organizer Dave Kraehling made it a real success. Nearly 30 players travelled to Toronto, leaving from Ontario, Montreal, Quebec City and even New York! The players were well received with coffee, fruit and chocolate.
The tournament was of the highest level and no match could be taken lightly. After two rounds that permitted to separate the players in two sections A and B, 3 of 5 playoffs started.
First of all, in the B section, we assisted in « quarter-finals » to a clash of the titans, between the two young virtuosos of table hockey, thus Thierri Douville (13 years old) of Montreal and Austin MacDonald (15 years old) of Toronto. The young Thierri who won the « young section » tournament in Sainte-Sophie last year, on top of the B section of the Rosemont tournament last year, made honour to his reputation of being an « under pressure player » by winning this series. Although he disappointed a little in the « semi-final », before winning the 2 out of 3 series to take 3 rd place against Chris George, 2 games to 1. As for Austin, he will be to follow closely his year, he is extremely fast and he beat many experienced players during the first two rounds. For the « B final », Michael Brossard, who was not in his best shape at the start of the day, finally rolled up his sleeves to win the final in three consecutive games, against the tenacious Bill Holdcroft, who consoled himself with a well deserved silver medal.
In the big A section, the competition was ferocious! First of all, in the « eight-of-finals » (the series being 3 out of 5), the veteran American champion Lou Marinoff beat Sid Kloosterman in 4 games, while Martin Douville surprised André Pigeon in 5 games, winning with an overtime goal in the decisive 5th game. Burt Brassard eliminated John Fayolle in 4 games, while Mark Sokolski made an incredible comeback, from an 0-2 deficit in the series, to eliminate by an inch Josh Kloosterman in 5 matches.
During the « quarter-finals » Pat Coté made it look easy against Martin Douville in 3 consecutive games. Mark Sokolski surprised by beatting “King Carlo” during match no.2 , but the « King » stood up to prevail and eliminate Mark in 4 games. Sam Anoussis gave all he had to beat Burt Brassard in three games, all with a low score. Finally in a sequel of the « Chicago tournament final », Lou Marinoff took his revenge on the “Ontario champion” Dave Kraehling 3-0. A fact to note is that all games of this series finished by a margin of one goal, and two of them in overtime.
During the « semi-finals » Pat « The Phenomen » Coté, after dropping the 1st match, won the next the against Lou, while Sam gave all the energy he had left but without being able to beat his great rival « King» Carlo, thus being eliminated in 4 games.
The table was thus set up for the classic « The King vs The Phenomen » dual. On one side we had the invincible KING CARLO in an irresistible sequence of seven tournament victories in a row on top of being the world champion since many years now. On the other side « The Phenomen », a player, if not the most talented player on the circuit. A player that breaks everything on his passage since many seasons, but that seems unable to beat « The King ». The « final » gave way to furious and entertaining play, but if was not enough for Pat, and the title remains in the hands of the KING, who won in three consecutive games of 5-3, 6-3 et 5-3. As for the series for 3 rd place, Sam needed an overtime goal in the decisive game #3, to get the bronze medal ahead of Lou Marinoff.
A big thanks to Dave Kraehling for organizing the tournament.
The next NTHL appointment (5th step) will be January 10th 2015, at Père-Marquette Centre of Montreal, for the « Rosemont Open III ». The bets are opened, who will be able to dethrone « King Carlo » ?
Rosemont Open III
Despite a few last minute hitches and the absence of a few vets the 3rd instalment of the Rosemont tournament reunited a whopping 38 players! A handful of new players also turned out which is always good news and that bolstered the resolve of the circuit regulars.
In the beginners pool the 2 time winner Nathan Forget was finally dethroned by a young upstart 9 year old Esteban Rodriguez. The final was a heated contest between the eventual champ and Malik bah that went the distance to 3 games. Nathan the defending champ would not be denied the podium however as he beat Guillaume Rodriguez in 2 straight to clinch 3rd place.
The B pool saw the revival of Simon Decarie. Playing relentlessly from the start of the season Simon showed his great talent and potential beating Benoit Racette 2 games to 1 in the semi final. Pierre Alarie, last years C pool winner, had to battle through the veteran Ronald Goupil to make his way into the final. Pierre made a strong comeback after losing game one to equalize the final at 1-1, that's when Simon took a stranglehold of the series to win game 3 in a decisive 3-0 victory. Notably in the intermediate group Guillaume Pitre started the day 9-0 in the first round robin only to be knocked out of the playoffs by the surprising and talented Ashley Perreault. Another surprise was Alec Richardson who played exceptionally well in his first ever tournament, as such he was awadred one of the two revelation medals on the day.
The A pool was as heated as ever where 16 titans of the table clashed in epic form. The first playoff round held a nail biter between Michel Decarie and Michael Brossard that went the distance. Decarie managed an overtime win in game 5. Meanwhile Burt Brassard went up 2 games to none against the wiley Dave Kraehling only to see his lead slip to 2-2. Mustering his strength Burt did not let the comeback happen as his stalwart performance in game 5 took him through to the next round. Notably Thierri Douville who had an impressive second round found himself in the top 16, unfortunately he drew the slickster Sam Anoussis in the first round and overcome with disappointment of not being able to square off against his friends in the B pool Theirri forfeited the series to Sam.
The quarter finals proved to be a formality for the top guns Carlo, Pat and Sam who all rolled through to the semis by taking out Burt, Eric L, and Daniel B in 3 straight. The match to watch was Michel Decarie and Andre Pigeon which went to 4 games before Andre could dispatch of the always dangerous Decarie.
The semi finals proved to be very competitive. It began with Andre Pigeon taking Sam Anousis to a deciding 5th game. On the other side King Carlo was looking to close out the series with Pat as he led 5-4 in game 5. With the clock ticking down below 5 seconds Carlo had just but to clear the puck to win, sadly for him instead of sending it down the ice he coughed it up in front of his own net where Pat's ready centerman put it in to tie the game. It was in overtime where Pat gained possession and within seconds scored the series winning goal, denying Carlo a spot in the final and capping his win streak at 8.
The grand final was a true battle of the titans, two of the best scorers in the game duking it out for the cup. Of course this series was not without controversy, Sam up 2 games to 1 was looking to finish it off in the OT of game 4. With an aggressive back pass Sam looked to score the series winner but as he rammed the puck home the board came sliding off the table leaving Pat unable to defend. The referee refused the goal and an irate Sam ended up losing that game as well as game 5 which in itself was an epic shootout between the two.
Notable mention also goes to Julian Marinoff who won the other revelation medal for his strong performance on the day in the A pool.
Bravo to the winners and thanks to all for participating.
Québec Open Tournament XV
The classic Quebec Open relived it's youth in this 15th edition. The kids group from Ste Sophie boosted the tournament to a whopping 34 players, a significant increase from last year. The presence of Quebec City's local TVA television crew shooting for "l'esprit sportif" added an additional touch of prestige to this already prestigious tournament, here is the link to their footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlOrpqnbozk&feature=youtube_gdata
The first round consisted of a group round robin which saw the kids mixed up with the adults. Some of the circuit regulars were definitely surprised by the young talent, notably Simon Decarie held his own against the #2 Phenomenon Pat Coté in a low scoring eventual 3-2 defeat for the youngster, good try Simon! Eric LaRochelle, who finished 6th on the day, edged out a Ste-Sophie up and commer William Neault in a tight 5-4 match. The living legend Lou Marinoff was even held to a one goal game against the kid veteran Thierri Douville edging him out 3-2. Another youngster, Danny Lafreniere, managed to get himself a tie against the current 11th seed Martin Douville. The moral of the story is lookout, these kids are soon to be champions!
After the second round robin the playoff seeds were determined and the series began. The top kids spot was up for grabs with so much talent among the 14 competitors, 10 of whom came from Ste-Sophie. A special thanks to David Bellavence, Caroline and Marie-Helene Boutet, and Marc Berand for facilitating table hockey in Ste-Sophie and for getting these kids to the Quebec Open. In the semi finals the Rosemont B champ and the top seed going into the playoffs was defeated in 2 straight by the talented Danny Lafreniere who was a finalist in the 2014 Ste-Sophie league. On the other side Thierri Douville, the defending kids champ of the 2014 Ste-Sophie Duel, faced off against Vincent Soulard. Thierri showed that competing against the adults has payed off as he won 2 straight convincing games 4-0 and 4-2. Thierri went on to defeat Danny in 2 more straight games to win the kids title convincingly. Simon Decarie played a similarly convincing series against Vincent Soulard to bring home the bronze and join his friend Thierri on the podium.
On the adult side the competition was as fierce as ever. The round of sixteen would send the 8 winners into the A pool while those who lost would find themselves relegated to B. Notable series in that round were John Fayolle and Michael Brossard who went the distance, Mike managed to win a decisive game 3 sending John down to the B. A rivalry quickly becoming classic was Pigeon vs Decarie, unfortunately for the veteran Michel Andre proved to be too tough and vanquished him in 2 straight games. In an unexpected series Martin Douville managed to come back against Lou Marinoff and win 2 games after losing the first, sending the living legend to the B pool.
In the quarter finals Brossard showed his prowess on the table by taking G. Bossio to 4 games and 2 overtimes though in the end he could not stop the eventual champ. Pat moved on against Andre only dropping 1 game in that series and despite his best efforts Martin Douville could not handle the slickster Sam Anoussis who bullied him off the table in 3 straight. The quarter final to watch was tournament organizer Burt Brassard squaring off against Eric LaRochelle. In the deciding game 5 of the series Eric led by a single goal, 4-3, and in the dying seconds of the game Eric made one final play only to have it broken up by Burt's defenseman. One of the best in the business at scoring with his D, Burt launched a booming shot from the point to tie the game with 1 second on the clock. Taking his momentum into overtime Burt scored the series winning goal!
G. Bossio found himself up against Pat the phenomenon is one semi and Burt against Sam in the other. The relentless Sam Anoussis took it to Burt, who must have been feeling the heat after his long battle in the quarters, beating him 3 straight. On the other side Pat held what looked like a comfortable 2-0 lead in the series vs Bossio only to see the Animal battle back and win 3 straight to find himself in the final. Once Bossio was close enough to taste gold he edged out Anoussis 6-5 in overtime in game one and used that momentum to win the next two games 6-1 and 4-2 to take 1st place convincingly. Burt had nothing left in the tank after a long day of organizing and playing and lost his bronze medal match to Pat who would not be denied the podium.
In the B an unknown but talented Pat Jobin beat out Michel Decarie to find himself in the final against the always dangerous living legend Lou Marinoff. Unfortunately for Pat he was pitted against a very talented A player who was not about to lose the B and Lou took home gold. Michel Decarie found himself in sync with his son as he too took home a bronze medal on the day, two talented veterans on the B pool podium speaks volumes for the depth of talent in this sport. John Fayolle notably won the most improved player and his travel buddy Vinny won the best rookie of the tournament award. Congrats to all!
Thanks also to Burt Brassard for his spectacular tournament, a 15th year Mario Lemieux would say, is really something!
Hello everyone, first off I wanted to personally thank Eric Krol and John Medema for hosting yet again a great Table Hockey Week-End. I mean these guys live in Chicago and are hosting 2 events in Detroit! I don’t know many people in our Table Hockey Family that are doing this so again guys, thanks for everything.
Many exciting games were played, the competition was fierce and once it was all said and done the ‘’B’’ division winners were:
1 Vinny ‘’The Vinner Catania
2 Eric Krol
3 John Medema
The ‘’A’’ division winners were:
1 ‘’Super’’ Dave Kraehling
2 Lou ‘’The Living Legend’’ Marinoff
3 Ron ‘’Slow Hands’’ Marsik
Congratulations to all the winners and all the participants.
I invite everyone who wants to see some real exciting footage of many of those games which many and I mean ‘’MANY’’ were won in OT to check them out here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60437244
The next and last stop of the NTHL 2014-2015 season will be Saturday April 11th 2015. Please make plans to attend this one as it will be an experience like no other I assure you. More than 40 kids under 16 are already registered and these guys can play! Last year the adults were signing autographs for the kids no joke! These guys are really into it so come out and have fun, bring your own kids and create great memories. Please confirm your presence by sending me a mail. email@example.com
The 2nd edition of the Duel Ste-Sophie attracted no less than 43 players, almost half of whom are young kids from the school. The Great Master of the NTHL ‘’King Carlo’’ took advantage of this situation to announce that there will now be a juniors under 18 standings page.
Among the young kids the competition was divided into Junior A and Junior B, and an interesting thing, a few young girls of talent participated in the tournament. In the Junior B Florence Demers won 3rd place at the expense of William Bergeron by a 3-2 score. William finished with an honourable 4th place. In the big B final, Melissa Cod was very surprising, she who just begun to play recently. She gave it everything, but she got beaten in two consecutive games, 8-4 and 4-2 by the talented William Dumas, who no doubt will be among the Junior A during the next few tournaments.
Among the junior A, several young people of high calibre were in attendance. Already just in the preliminary rounds we saw high calibre table hockey games. One of these beautiful performances was the work of Sarah Cossette who gave a good scare to the defending champion Thierri Douville in an 8-5 offensive festival. Thierri also received a serious message from Simon Decarie who defeated him 4-3. Tommy Leclerc on his side showed his colors with a nice victory on the veteran Simon.
In the quarter finals series Marc-A- Paris pushed Thierri D in overtime during the 1st game. Thierri finally won the 1/4 final series in two games before finding in the semi finals his opponent finalist from the Quebec event, the talented Danny Lafreniere. However Danny, despite a battle of all moments, was unable to come up with a win against the experienced Thierri. During this time Simon Decarie sweated a little also against Tommy Leclerc during the quarter finals but ended up winning none the less. In the semi finals, Simon put it in high gear against one of the strongest players in the region, Vincent Soulard of Ste-Sophie and took the series. The great final therefore pit together two rivals, but especially 2 long time friends Thierri "The huskie" Douville against Simon"the gamer" Decarie. The final was held in a surreal atmosphere, the crowd of young people and adults literally circled the rink for this classic duel. The first game was of great quality and was decided after three long minutes of overtime and the advantage went to Thierri with a 2-1 victory. It is also this match which decided the outcome of the series, because taking advantage of his momentum, Thierri went on to win the 2nd game 7-1.The match up for 3rd place between Danny and Vincent also gave us a high level of play and Vincent brilliantly won this game with holding the powerful attack of Danny to win 2-0.
For the adults, the first round was dominated by King Carlo and Andre "Boston"Pigeon. Unfortunately for Andre his 2nd place gave him an unexpected opponent and a lot more tough than expected for a 1/4 final, in the person of Sam "the slickster" Anoussis. In the 2nd round what was going to happen, happened! Sam came out of his silence and elimination Andre in 5 long and difficult games. Andre P despite all this saved his day by winning his elimination games to capture 5th place overall. In the 1st round, Lou Marinoff took his revenge over Mr. Douville who had beaten him in Quebec and eliminated Martin 3-0. Michael "The class" Brossard gave it all to overcome a 1-2 deficit and eliminated the very tough Michel Goupil in 5. Michel Decarie after nearly losing the 1st game in overtime finally defeated R. Goupil in three consecutive games. Gino and Burt also won the 1st round without any problems.
In the other quarter finals, Carlo went on to defeat Lou in 3 consecutive games and Gino did the same against a Michael B exhausted by his duel against Michel G. The big series opposed Mr. Decarie vs Burt. Decarie demonstrated a great strength of character coming back from a 0-2 deficit to win in 5 games.
In the semi-finals, the incredible King Carlo got rid of the slickster in 3 consecutive games, while Michel "the machine"Decarie got very close to a presence in the big final. Leading 2-1 in his series against "The Animal" Gino Bossio he missed his chance to knock him out in game 4 and the animal went on to win the 5th game.
In the consolation final, The Machine, empted of his essence, was not able to give his full power vs the Slickster who escapes with the bronze. The big final gave us some tight games, the Animal brought the King in overtime in game 1 and won game 3 but this was too little, too late and the King retained his world title for an 8th straight season. In the B adults final reserved for the losers of the A 1/8 final, Mr. Douville partially redeemed his disappointing outing against the father Marinoff in taking the measure of the son Marinoff in two games. For Julian Marinoff, it is an interesting 10th place and a constant progress in the hierarchy of the circuit. No doubt that in 2015/2016 he will be a serious contender for the Top 10.
Beyond the results, the tournament was a success on the whole line, no quarrel, no controversy, great sportsmanship, and a very good lunch provided by our tournament hosts, Caroline, David, Marie-Hélène and Marc. This tournament has become an inescapable one, one where all players of the NTHL circuit should seriously consider attending each year!