By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
As a high school hockey player, there is nothing like playing in the Super Eight. Last season, Xaverian hockey made a run to the semifinal round of the Super Eight before ultimately falling in a 6-5 thriller to rival and eventual state champ BC High.
In 2019-2020, the Hawks put together another strong campaign that featured a 13-4-4 record and five consecutive wins to close out the regular season. The late streak solidified a spot in the Super Eight for Xaverian for the second consecutive season. The Hawks will now embark on a championship quest at the pinnacle of Massachusetts high school hockey.
“It means a lot playing in the Super Eight,” said senior captain and forward Ryan Pomposelli. “It was always a dream of mine as a young kid, and being able to end my high school career playing in the best tournament the state has to offer is unreal.”
The Hawks were awarded the No. 5 seed in the tournament, where they will take on arch rival St. John’s Prep in the opening round on February 26 at Loring Arena in Framingham. The No. 4 Eagles (11-4-5) swept the Hawks during the regular season with a 3-0 victory on New Year’s Day, followed by a 5-1 decision at Canton Ice House on January 18. During this time of the year, however, past results mean very little. Pomposelli and his teammates know that.
“Well, Prep gave us trouble in the regular season,” said Pomposelli. “They swept us, so we are fired up for this. I mean, take away the fact that it’s the Super Eight and it’s just SJP vs. Xaverian, and there nothing better then that. The biggest thing for us is to not let the moment get the best of us. We just need to play our structure and our style and not be too emotional.”
Outside of fighting off the obvious emotions that come with playing in such a big tournament against some of your biggest rivals, Pomposelli says the Hawks need to utilize the playoff experience present amongst their group in order to have success in this year’s Super Eight.
“I think just using our experiences from last year will help us throughout this tournament,” said Pomposelli. “I mean, our core group this year all played in the Super Eight last year. We have to play every game like there’s no tomorrow. Our guys are prepared and we are confident that if we play our game and play our style, that no one can beat us. If we do that, we will probably end up winning our last hockey game on March 15.”
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.