When Mike Balzarini was hired as the coach of the Milford High boys’ hockey team three seasons ago, he made one of his objectives clear: foster an environment conducive to a more tight-knit team.
The coach encouraged his players to eat lunch together, and he signed them up for group community service projects — anything to get the guys to spend more time together off the ice.
The Hawks earned their first-ever tournament bid last winter in Balzarini’s second year at the helm.
But saying that “this team is a family” is more than just a platitude for some of the Hawks. In addition to the coach-and-captain, father-and-son duo — Mike and his oldest son, senior Jared Balzarini — Milford features three pairs of brothers. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.