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Senior captain Chris Giglietti provided stout play on defense for the East Haven co-op ice hockey team and took home the Yellowjackets’ Hobey Baker High School Character Award at season’s end. (Photo courtesy of Chris Giglietti )
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Chris Giglietti was one of a handful of seniors who represented the Yellowjackets’ co-op hockey squad on the ice this winter. As a senior, Chris was dubbed a team captain by Head Coach Lou Pane and proved a great leader for the Easties, helping them reach the State Tournament for the 33rd consecutive season.
Chris loved helping athletes from different towns band together to produce a solid campaign that saw East Haven-Old Lyme-Old Saybrook-East Hampton-Morgan-Valley Regional record nine victories, including one in the qualifying round of states.
“It was an honor knowing the younger kids looked up to me. To have me be being their leader was a great feeling,” says Chris. “It was a little tough at first in the beginning of the season, because we weren’t all familiar with one another, but as the season went on and people got comfortable, it was easier.”
Chris’s leadership resulted in him receiving a major accolade from the Yellowjackets when he was presented with the team’s Hobey Baker High School Character Award. Each year, East Haven’s coaching staff presents the award to a player who puts forth an outstanding individual performance on and off the ice, while displaying commitment, integrity, teamwork, and leadership throughout the season.
“He was just a pleasure to have for four years. He was a great kid who was so coachable. We’re going to miss a guy like Chris Giglietti,” Coach Pane says. “The Hobey Baker Award shows the character he has. He’s the type of guy that took winning and losing and did it at a professional level all the time. I love players like that who do it with class.”
Chris wasn’t expecting to receive award, but he felt extremely honored when he heard the news.
“I was very proud of myself for winning the award,” Chris says. “I was consistent all the time, always leading the team in stretches, and made sure guys felt good before a game. I was always reassuring everything was going to be alright.”
Chris was a forward when he started playing hockey at age six. He transitioned to defense a few years later, and that’s been his place on the ice ever since. Chris is known for being a stay-at-home defenseman who locks things down in the Yellowjackets’ zone.
“I look for the first pass out of the zone, rather than trying to skate it up. I like finding my teammates more,” says Chris. “I think I play pretty good physically, and I know where I should be positioning-wise. I get to the puck quick, and I can move back to a spot.”
Chris is best friends with East Haven’s goalie Logan Hamilton. Chris likes being able to support Hamilton by doing everything he can to keep the puck out of harm’s way.
“It’s a good feeling knowing my goaltender relies on me,” Chris says. “If he’s not having a good game, he can count on me to help boost his game and make him feel like he should be playing good.”
Coach Pane says that Chris’s shot from the point has a knack for finding its way through traffic. While he prides himself on his defensive skills, Chris looks for his opportunities to get in the offensive mix when the time is right.
“It’s not my strongest point, but if I can jump into the play, I like to help the offense,” says Chris. “It’s not all about scoring, but it helps win the game.”
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