No. 1 pick Owen Power leads Michigan’s offensive drive in the season opener win

ANN ARBOR – No. 1 Draft Pick Owen Power returned to Michigan for his sophomore season to continue his development and get some real college experience.

Last season, fans weren’t allowed in the Big Ten ice rinks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re back for the 2020-21 season. Power, selected by the Buffalo Sabers, and the third-placed Wolverines gave the Yost Ice Arena spectators cheer in Friday’s 6-1 win over Lake Superior State at the season opener on Friday.

Power, just the fourth NCAA player voted No. 1 in an NHL draft, recorded a goal and three assists while four other Michigan first-round picks had at least one point.

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Michigan canceled post-game interviews due to an interruption in the water supply at Yost.

Leading the point in Michigan’s # 1 power play unit, which consists of all of the top 40 picks, Power supported the team’s first three goals, including two in power play. All came in the first 14 minutes of the game.

Sophomore striker Kent Johnson, one of seven first-round picks on Michigan’s roster – the most ever on a college team – tipped in third goal on a centering feed from striker Brendan Brisson, a first-round pick of the Vegas Golden Knights 2020.

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Johnson, the fifth overall pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021, also fielded freshman striker Mackie Samoskevich, number 24 Florida Panthers in 2021, for his first career goal, which led to the 2-0. Brisson, meanwhile, finished with one goal and two assists.

Samoskevich wasn’t the only one to find the top scorer list on his college debut. Striker Dylan Duke, a 2021 Tampa Bay Lightning four-round pick, took advantage of a slip by LSSU goalkeeper Seth Eisele behind the net and scored an all-round punch. Defender Luke Hughes, who was the fourth overall New Jersey Devils selection in this year’s draft, and forward Mark Estapa each recorded one assist.

After Michigan abruptly ended last season and had to withdraw from the NCAA tournament hours before their first round game due to COVID-19 protocols, the team starts this year with high expectations.

The Wolverines returned nine out of ten goalscorers from last year’s team, which finished 15-10-1. They had numerous chances to score against LSSU and fired 47 shots on goal.

Michigan goalkeeper Erik Portillo, a pick from the Sabers in the third round, shutout in the third period before LSSU scored in the power play at 1:30. He made 24 parades.

RELATED: Sabers Draft Pick Erik Portillo has big footsteps as Michigan’s starting goalkeeper

The two teams should conclude the series with two games on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Yost.

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