Senior Spotlight: Chris Heitzhaus

Known across the league for his on ice aggression, number 19 for the Delaware Blue Hens has finally reached the end of his hockey career. Chris Heitzhaus can be seen on the ice getting physical with any team the Blue Hens face. Chris would describe himself as a gritty, energetic, and intense hockey player. Just about every team knows who to look out for on the ice. Chris is a chemical engineering major from way up north in Buffalo, NY. His ice hockey career started out later then most, at the age of 11, just after playing roller hockey for a few years. He played for a couple different teams across Western New York and even won a National Championship with his 16u team, the Cheektowaga Warriors. Since he can remember, Chris has always been a Buffalo Sabres fan. The first ice hockey team Chris ever played for was the Southtown Stars, and after many years he found himself playing for the University of Delaware Blue Hens. When asked what his favorite team memory is, he responded “How can it not be beating Liberty at home this past year?” After recalling several disappointing losses at Liberty’s Lahaye rink over the years, it was a huge deal to come up with a 6-3 win in our own building. To top it all off, the team completed this huge victory in front of their B+ hero Aiden. 

“I chose to come to Delaware purely for academic reasons,” Chris said. After Covid-19 halted his ability to play for a year and a half, it was quite an easy decision to try to come back and play hockey. Chris was lucky enough to walk onto the D1 team. Besides upsetting Liberty at the Fred Rust this year, Chris’ greatest hockey achievement thus far has been winning the 16u National Championship. Although number 19 has made plenty of enemies in the ACHA in his four years as a Blue Hen, his all time favorite team to play against is easily the Stony Brook Seawolves. As the four years fly by in college, there is a lot to be learned. Chris’ biggest advice to current team members is that you never know when your last time on the ice will be, so it’s imperative to always skate as fast as you can, shoot as hard as you can, and give it your all every time you step out on the ice. “Take nothing for granted and wear the UD Blue Hen with pride,” he said. Chris would like to give a huge thank you to everyone behind the scenes that makes it all possible. “To start, Mazz for being the best manager in the ACHA, Erika and Maddie for handling our social media and game day ops, and James and his crew for their incredible broadcasts,” he said. He would also like to thank Joe Murph for being the best bus driver out there, Audrey, Ellie, and all who did photography for us throughout the season, the trainers, Fred Rust rink staff, the parent booster club, the alumni, and everyone who has supported UD Ice Hockey through and through. “Without all of these people, we wouldn’t get to play the game we love and not enough can be said for their contributions,” he ended his thanks with. 

Chris’ biggest inspiration is his grandfather. They quickly became best friends after Chris lived with him for several years in high school. His grandfather was always going to his games and taking loads of interest in his life. This attention was not just given to Chris, though, instead it was equally given to all eight of his kids, all 23 of his grandkids, and all 12 of his great grandkids. “His incredible kindness, compassion, and love for his family was an inspiration to me. I have his signature and anniversary tattooed over my heart because of the strong bond we shared,” he said. As for the future, Chris will be entering the manufacturing industry as a process engineer. He recently accepted a job with Packaging Corp of America in Louisiana. We look forward to seeing all of the great things number 19 will do in the upcoming years. Good luck Chris!