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The Chelsea hockey team opened the 2019-2020 season in strong fashion Friday night as the Bulldogs rolled over Okemos 9-3 in the opening round of the annual Chelsea Thanksgiving tournament.

Coming off a disappointing 2018/19 season that saw the Bulldogs go 8-19, Chelsea kicked things off on the right foot with the big win over Okemos to advance to Saturday’s championship against Portage Central, a 5-3 winner over Walled Lake Northern.

Tyler Valik put the Bulldogs on top early in the first, but Okemos answered with a power play goal just 32 second later to even it at one.

Colton King and Gabe Vowles found the net to put Chelsea up 3-1 before the Chiefs answered to cut it to 3-2. Vowles scored his second of the night to make it 4-2 after one period.

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Gabe Vowles led Chelsea with three goals and two assists against Okemos. Photo by Dawn Miller

Pedro Lopes scored a shorthanded goal at 9:35 of the second period and Okemos got one back four minutes later to make it 5-3 after two periods.

The Bulldogs blew the game open in the third with four unsanswered goals.

Wes Hansen scored shorthanded early in the third, while Lopes, King, and Vowles would each finid the net one more time for the 9-3 win.

Vowles led the team with the hat trick of three goals and two assists, while King and Lopes scored two goals each. Valik finished with a goal and two assists, and Hunter Sitko two assists. Michael Jones, Corbin Steele, Keegan McGaughlin and Hansen had one assist each.

Harrison Lantis made 28 saves on 31 shots in his first career start in net for the Bulldogs.

Photo’s by Dawn Miller

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