Chelsea High School hockey team defeats Jackson Lumen Christi 4-1, advances to regional final
Brad Hepler and Chris Boyd led the way on Thursday, and now the Chelsea High School hockey team has a date in the regional final.
Boyd, a senior goalie, made 24 saves and Hepler scored twice in the Bulldogs' 4-1 Division 3 pre-regional victory against Jackson Lumen Christi at the Arctic Coliseum.
“We came out we gave it our all; we didn’t want to go home in our own building,” Boyd said. “It feels good because they sent us home last year in overtime here.”
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Chelsea will face Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at The Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea in a Division 3 regional final.
Chelsea came out strong against Lumen Christi, putting 12 shots on net in the opening period, and Hepler, a senior, scored his first goal on a power-play with a shot from the point. The Bulldogs hit a rough patch in the second period, however.
“Our guys came out in the second, and our guys got away from our game plan,” Chelsea coach Don Wright said.
Boyd was busy and stopped all 11 shots he faced in the second period, including four while his team was on the penalty kill.
“Our goalie (Boyd) stood on his head through all three periods, he stood on his head all year,” Hepler said. “He gives us all the confidence in the world.”
Chelsea broke open a tight game at 3:28 of the third period when Tyler Fullerton found a loose puck in the slot and beat David Mayo five-hole to make it 2-0 Bulldogs. With just 11 minutes left in the game, Lumen Christi began pressing for offense, leading to breakdowns defensively.
“We were trying to open it up a little bit, of course then you have breakdowns on ‘D’ because you’re trying to create some scoring opportunities,” Lumen Christi coach Mike Wartella said.
Kody Johnson scored Chelsea’s third goal at 8:43 and Hepler notched his second of the game 31 seconds later.
“Hepler has got all the tools,” Wright said. “He can skate, he can shoot, he is a great player. It’s a good thing when Brad has one of his good games and when he does, he’s tough to stop.”
Although Mayo allowed four goals, he made 21 saves and was the key factor in keeping Lumen Christi in the game.
“David is just a rock for us. We were a little flat in the first period, and he kept us in the game,” Wartella said. “Quite frankly, he’s probably one of the best we’ve ever had here at Lumen Christi. He did a great job for us.”
Lumen Christi ended Boyd’s bid for a shutout with 41 seconds left when Nick Stevens scored on a wraparound.
“I couldn’t have cared what the score was as long as we won and as long as we played well as a team,” Boyd said.