Sports

Xaverian Brothers hockey prepped for iron teams of Catholic Conference

Xaverian’s Tim Sweeney is pursued down ice by BC High’s Jake Lamanski Saturday. BC High, the first of the Catholic Conference rivals the Hawks will play this month, ended Xaverian’s winning streak with a 2-2 tie.
Xaverian’s Tim Sweeney is pursued down ice by BC High’s Jake Lamanski Saturday. BC High, the first of the Catholic Conference rivals the Hawks will play this month, ended Xaverian’s winning streak with a 2-2 tie. Credit: John Tlumacki/globe staff

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The coaches and players with the Xaverian Brothers hockey program simply refer to a challenging stretch of games as “the gauntlet.”

Each January, the Hawks take on the iron of the Catholic Conference consecutively: BC High, St. John’s Prep, Malden Catholic, and Catholic Memorial — followed by a smattering of nonleague contests — before returning to battle its league competitors a second time, although not consecutively.

Under the direction of coach Dave Spinale, Xaverian earned the first three Super 8 berths in program history (2007-09). But capturing a conference crown has proven elusive.

This year, however, there is reason for optimism.

The Hawks boast three solid lines as well as a rotation of five to six defensemen that receive regular ice time. Xaverian also has two highly-skilled goaltenders.

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