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Beverly High boys’ hockey team (8-0-1) has no lack of motivation

Beverly High goalie Tim Birarelli blocks a shot by Marblehead’s Dean Fader early in Saturday’s game at Salem State College. Beverly hung on for a tough 4-3 win.
Beverly High goalie Tim Birarelli blocks a shot by Marblehead’s Dean Fader early in Saturday’s game at Salem State College. Beverly hung on for a tough 4-3 win. Photos by Mark Lorenz for The Boston Globe

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The Beverly High boys’ hockey team entered last year’s Division 2 North tournament as one of the favorites as the top seed. After an 18-1-2 regular-season run with a talented roster, Beverly was primed for a deep postseason run.

Their quest ended with a 4-3 quarterfinal loss to Danvers.

“It was kind of disbelief, I couldn’t come to terms with it. I was shocked,” said senior captain Connor Irving, recalling the team’s early exit.

“They still think about it, it doesn’t sit well on the kids, and they remember that,” coach Bob Gilligan said of his player’s mentality this season.

So far so good.

Off to an 8-0-1 start, Beverly is poised to replicate last season’s regular season success, and make a deep tourney run.

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