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Leading the Way: Peter-Owen Hayward

By Maggy Haggerty

Peter-Owen Hayward was the type of child that always had a ball in his hand. Whether it was hockey, baseball, lacrosse, track, or soccer, the Brattleboro, Vermont native was always staying active. Hayward has even recorded about 50 hours of flight time since learning how to fly a four-seater plane thanks to his grandfather.

Hayward, who has played all four years for Syracuse hockey, took his first steps on the ice when he was just three years old. The senior captain said he did not exactly get off to a hot start.

“We had this pond near my house and it would freeze over, so my parents had taken me over there, but I was wearing these skates that had two blades on them,” Hayward said with a laugh. “They were awful. You never really learned how to skate with them.”

Hayward’s skating abilities began to improve when his family took him down to the local rink for the ‘Learn How to Skate’ events.

“At first I would lean on my mom and she’d say, ‘No don’t do that because then we’re both going to fall down,’” he said. “Neither of my parents can really skate so I learned from the people there.”

Skating eventually turned into hockey for Hayward when a friend of his was leaving his house to go to hockey practice. His friend’s family had asked if he wanted to join, so Hayward’s parents threw some snow pants on him, and he showed up to the rink with minimal equipment.

Fourteen years later, Hayward has since traded in the snow pants for hockey shorts and was looking to pursue a collegiate hockey career.

Syracuse University had always been in the back of Hayward’s mind as he applied during his senior year of high school. The appeal of the Newhouse School of Communications is what brought him to visit, but his mind was made once he found out about the dual program between Newhouse and the Whitman School of Management.

After being accepted, the senior captain ended up deferring from Syracuse to play a year of juniors. After one season, he decided it was time to head to a campus for an academics foundation opposed to accepting an NCAA offer.

That’s when Peter-Owen Hayward started cementing his legacy at Syracuse Men’s Hockey. As a freshman, Hayward warned All-Rookie honors after leading the ACHA in scoring. Two years later, he was named the ESCHL tournament MVP after Syracuse’s dramatic championship victory. Now, in his senior year, he has found himself at the top of SUMH all-time lists for goals, assists, points, and even penalty minutes.

“Those are obviously all great accomplishments, and I’m definitely proud of them,” Hayward said. “But with the growth of this program and its future I hope that someone else will come in and my name won’t always be in those spots.”

After Hayward crosses the stage at Syracuse’s 2020 commencement, he’s looking forward to having some time to relax while traveling. In July, he will find his way to New York City as he starts his role at General Electric within their Financial Management Program.

Working as a leader on and off the ice, there are no doubts that Peter-Owen Hayward will continue to excel.

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