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QU graduate, Cerrella plays pro hockey in New Haven
Chris Cerrella graduated in May of 2001 as the all-time leading scorer for the Men’s Ice Hockey Program at Quinnipiac University. He scored 205 points in his four year career, (99goals and 106 assists). He was also honored his senior year with First Team All MAAC Hockey League honors after the 2000-2001 season.
Cerrella, of Massapequa, N.Y., started playing hockey when he was seven-years-old. When it came time to choose a college despite offers from schools such as, Michigan and Iowa, Cerrella said he chose Quinnipiac because “it was close to home.”
After the hockey season was over his senior year at Quinnipiac Cerrella decided to follow his dream of playing professional hockey and signed a contract with the Baton Rouge Kingfish of the East Coast Hockey League. Cerrella played six games with the Kingfish, and when the college draft was held in March of 2001 he was chosen by the Asheville Smoke, a United Hockey League team, and accepted an offer to play for the Memphis Riverkings of the CHL.
Cerrella played six games with the Riverkings and then was cut from the team. After leaving Memphis Cerrella wanted to be close to home so that he could be with his wife Jen (Hayman), also a Quinnipiac graduate, who was pregnant.
Cerrella managed to find his way back to Connecticut and the New Haven area, and even though Asheville still owned his rights, Cerralla began to practice with the New Haven Knights, a UHL team that plays at the New Haven Coliseum. Soon after his rights were released and his son, Christopher John Joseph was born Cerrella was signed to the Knights by Head Coach Paul Gillis.
Since starting with the Knights, Cerrella has scored ten goals and has made five assists.
Cerrella said that his job on the ice playing professional hockey has changed from when he played collegiate hockey at Quinnipiac. At Quinnipiac Cerrella was a goal scorer; he said he wasn’t expected to play as much defense as he has to professionally.
“You have to play well everyday to stay in the lineup,” Cerrella said about playing at the professional level.
Cerrella, his wife Jen and baby Christopher (CJ), are living in Branford while Cerrella follows his dream playing professional hockey right here in New Haven.