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Hayes scores in 6-1 rout as Boston College powers through to NCAA Final

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Kevin Hayes (No. 12) watches the action from the bench during Boston College's 6-1 NCAA semifinal victory over Minnesota on April 5. (Photo by Getty Images)

Kevin Hayes, as younger siblings tend to do, is trying his best to follow in his brother’s footsteps. Jimmy, now with the Blackhawks, won an NCAA title with Boston College in 2010. One of his frequent linemates that year was Chris Kreider; the other was Ben Smith. Smith, of course, currently plays for the IceHogs. Kreider, a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2009, is still at BC, playing wing for the younger Hayes.

Jimmy tallied three points—a goal and two assists—in the 2010 Frozen Four. Kevin, in trying to capture that same title two years later, has one point so far, but it was a big one for BC, who defeated Minnesota 6-1 last night in Tampa to make the title game for the fifth time in seven seasons.

The Eagles weren’t playing like the nation’s top seed to start the game, although they led 1-0 on an early conversion by Steven Whitney off an odd-man rush. Minnesota outshot BC 10-5 in the first period, forcing Eagles goalie Parker Milner to make some athletic saves, and the Golden Gophers continued piling it on at the beginning of the second frame as they tried to convert an early power play to tie the game up.

The shots were 15-6 in Minnesota’s favor by the time BC got their first man advantage of the game. There was a battle for the puck after the draw, but BC came away with it, cycling the play quickly around to the right wing. Hayes found himself the recipient of a cross-ice pass by Steven Whitney, roofed the puck into the back of the Minnesota net and peeled away to celebrate against the glass.

Hayes’ goal, which stood as the eventual game-winner, broke the game wide open for BC. The Eagles netted two more goals before the end of the second period, then two more for insurance in the third after the Gophers finally breached Milner’s net—the first goal surrendered by the NCAA’s stingiest defense all tournament. BC will now face unranked Ferris State, who defeated Union 3-1 in last night’s first semifinal matchup, on April 7 at 7 p.m.

Hayes, a sophomore power forward who was converted to center this season, registered five shots on goal in the game and won several key faceoffs, including the one that led to his own power-play goal. And tomorrow evening, he can emulate Jimmy once more, by becoming an NCAA champion with Boston College.

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