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Muskegon native Justin Abdelkader makes Olympics hockey debut against China

Justin Abdelkader can add "Olympian" to his accolades.
Credit: AP
Detroit Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. It was Abdelkader's third goal of the game. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

BEIJING, China β€” Justin Abdelkader helped lead the US Men's Hockey team off to a dominating start to the Olympics qualifying round, beating China 8-0 Thursday. 

Originally on the team as an alternate, the Mona Shores High School graduate wore #89 and had a few shots on goal.

The former Red Wings alum also had an assist on Team USA's 8th goal against China. 

Known for his physicality, the forward spent two minutes in the penalty box for slashing. 

While they may be the youngest team in the competition, seven of the eight US goals were scored by guys currently in college. Sean Farell, who skates at Harvard, had three goals and two assists. 

Team USA takes on Canada this Saturday in the Men's Preliminary Round for Group A. 

Credit: AP
United States' Brendan Brisson (19) battles China's Wei Ruike (Ethan Werek) (61) for the puck during a preliminary round men's hockey game at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This isn't the first time the 34-year-old has represented his country.

He most recently captained Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2021 World Championship. 

The Grand Rapids Griffins released Abdelkader from his professional tryout in January so he can focus on the games.

Two other Griffins players, Andy Miele and Pat Nagle, are also representing Team USA. 

Eleven other former Griffins players are representing their respective nations in the Olympics.

You can find the 2022 Olympics hockey schedule here.

RELATED VIDEO: Abdelkader returns to Griffins as team falls to Milwaukee

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