Can the Same
Guppies produce Better Results ?
"They were supposed to win another Championship," said Killingworth First Selectman, David L Denvir.
But this hockey club doesn't care much for popular opinion. They played their system, the one that lets every player do what he does best, a livelier modification of the neutral-zone trap with an aggressive forecheck and rapid transitions. No player is more important than another -- even Tim Poulin; the Guppie's leading scorer, is just another card in the deck. As long as they work hard, everyone fits in.
Like Dan Pequita (5' 10" 170lbs). The Maple Leafs didn't think he was as physical as a 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman could be. When they tried to turn him into a bruiser, his game suffered and the Leafs threw in the towel. The Guppies took him in. Now, he's a master of getting in the way and leading the Guppies offensive rush. While Pequita isn't big, He is strong, and tough to skate around. He's a match-up guy now -- deployed against opponents' top players.
And Jason Zito, who lit it up with the Guppies from 2001-Spring 2003 winning two team championships along the way. He spent last season in a softball league trying to chase his dreams of being a major league softball player. However , Brian Kelly and Robert Murphy found him and lured him back.
Then, there is that hockey adage that says you can't win with a goaltending tandem. Well, Joseph Linskey and Marc Crayton have disproved that theory. Linskey (9-0-0 Season and 3.11 GAA,) played 8 regular-season games and 3 in the playoffs, and Crayton (2-0-0, .5.50) played 2 in the regular season. Their GAA's were both in the top three in the league with Linskey leading the way. This seaon the Guppies will be deeper in Net with the Acquisition of Legolie.
Looking at next season
For the Guppies, not much has changed.
The only significant acquisition during the off season has been Legolie, a big free-agent Goaltender picked up from the Quebec to add extra security in the Killingworth net. The 5-5, 25-pound Legolie is unproven but he has seemed to do well at all levels he has played in.
The only loss -- so far -- is Brendan Leahy, whom the Guppies never used in a game last season. "Bren never played a second last season, but his check cashed and that is a Win - Win situation for us" stated Murphy.
Poulin, the team's leading scorer with 45 points has re-signed to a multi year deal that will keep him in Killingworth. He's coming off of his second season and a stellar playoff performance. Marc Crayton will most likely be playing with Poulin as he tries regain his scoring touch of two seasons ago.
The Guppies have a slew of forwards who fill opponents nets. Robert Murphy had 16 goals last year, most of which he scored while playing Defense. Emerging sniper Jason Zito had 10 in Spring of 2003. David Armenai, who is know more for his defensive play, had 2. Crayton added 9. Brian Kelly, proved he has the potential to wheel and deal with the best of them, scoring 26 on the season.
On defense, depth is never an issue. Behind Pequita are veteran John Carroll, Thomas Mierkiewicz, and the Guppies hope to have Mike Halle back by April. Halle spent the Summer 2003 fighting with the US Army over in Iraq, proving the 27-year-old has the toughness to match his athletic ability. John Carroll, 36, played with poise in 10 regular-season games and all 3 of the Guppie's playoff games. He is considered to be the Veteran Guard on the Guppies blue line where he started his career back in 1995. The Gupps re-signed rugged Tom Mierkiewicz to a new long term contract. Mierk has been the Guppies physical presence since his arrival back in 2002. But if anyone takes a fall, the Gupps don't have to go beyond their own bench to fill the void. Both Murphy and Kelly have stepped into the defensive roll when needed.
With all the chips in place the Guppies look ready to take there place again as the Z-Rink B-league Champions. However, as always the competition will be tough and strong.
The Killingworth Guppies
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