Xaverian holds BC High – Boston Herald

DORCHESTER – In a Catholic conference showdown full of extra effort and resilience at Devine Rink, it was one last defensive stand that proved the difference for the powerful powerhouse Xaverian Monday night against another faithful BC High.

With a one-goal lead that is almost never safe in those games, the Hawks fell 2:44 back by giving the Eagles a fifth power play opportunity on the night in the middle of a piece where BC High had offensive rhythm. But just as it did most of the way, Xaverian drove after an ugly penalty shot and an excellent effort into the net from Brendan Flanagan (31 saves) to hold on to a 3-2 victory.

Combine that with two goals from the Hawks (7-1) striker Will Irving – including the clear signal in the second period – and Xaverian returned from a loss to St. Louis. John’s Prep last week with this big win.

“Every league game gets close,” head coach Dave Spinale said. “I just think we were a little more cruel today. … Just hard work and gravel and we eat puck. Just all the little things I thought.”

BC High (2-4-1) had plenty of offensive sprints to test the Hawks’ blue line and Flanagan, including an early rhythm that had Xaverian on his heels. That did not stop Irving from conceding a wraparound goal after the defense held on to a 1-0 lead and Max Lockwood made it 2-0 less than a minute later after a feed from Nolan Dion.

Penalty kicks became a problem for Xaverian towards the end of the frame as a five-minute major gave BC High a 5-on-3 opportunity, leading almost instantly to a James Marshall goal that reduced the score to 2-1. The major leaked into the second period and the Eagles came back to equalize shortly after Xaverian killed the penalty kick as Brendan Burke snuck the neutralizing goal to the top right corner of the net.

However, when Irving completed a rebound in the dirty area to take the lead for Xaverian with less than three minutes left of the second frame, it was all hands on deck to keep the score at 3-2.

The Eagles forced two more penalties to help them rip off 11 shots in the third period and put pressure on Flanagan, but the senior goalkeeper covered all the ground he needed to maintain the lead.

“He was amazing today,” Spinale said. He made one (rescue), which I do not know how he came to in the first period of the powerplay. He is a puck stopper and he is very acrobatic and athletic. ”

Jack Burke also played well in the net for BC High, collecting 24 saves while allowing only one goal between the second and third periods. It included two critical saves on outbursts to keep the Eagles within one goal, but Flanagan and Xaverian did just enough to fend them off.

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