GF Tribune: Meet The Athlete: Americans forward Craig Hayes

By Steve Schreck, Tribune Sports Writer

March 5, 2015

Craig Hayes is a forward on the Great Falls Americans Junior A hockey team.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Anchorage, Alaska.

Q: What brought you out here?

A: Just to play hockey. Somewhere to play, and Montana sounded cool.

Q: You have to miss your family back home. That has to be difficult.

A: Yeah, I miss them. But this is really important to me, so you have to do what you have to do to do what you love. You have to leave and make sacrifices. It’s hard, but I like it here.

Q: How’s this season going for you?

A: It’s going pretty well. I’ve battled through some injuries early in the season, but I’m strong now. I am having a lot of fun.

Q: This season has been a pretty successful one so far, hasn’t it?

A: It’s going really well. We’ve won (34) out of the 47, so that’s a pretty good record. We had a little rut coming back from the Christmas Break … but we’ve stepped it up and figured it out. And we are getting good now. I think we are ready for the playoffs.

Q: When did you start playing hockey and how did you get started in the game?

A: Actually, my dad likes watching hockey. He took me to an ECHL game, the Alaska Aces, back home when I was like three. And he said he couldn’t talk to me because I was just watching the game the whole time. So he decided to put me in Learn to Skate when I was three. And that’s where it started.

Q: You weren’t on the team last season, but do you get a sense in the locker room that his team wants to get back to the championship and win it this year after being swept by Helena last year?

A: Oh, yeah. For sure. Helena was a big powerhouse last year. They only lost one game. Now they are second, and we’re top dog. We beat them the first few times of the year. They’ve been beating us lately, but we’ve been going over film, and I think we are ready for them.

Q: I noticed the Philadelphia Flyers winter hat on your head. Are you a Flyers fan?

A: I am a Flyers fan. I watched a show one time called the Broad Street Bullies. It was about the Flyers just going around and beating everybody up. It was old school hockey, and I like that, so that was my favorite team.

Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune (March 5, 2015)