The Wolverine

October 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 40 of 67

OCTOBER 2022 THE WOLVERINE 41 BY CHRIS BALAS I f anyone has ever been destined to be a Michigan hockey coach, for- mer U-M forward Brandon Nau- rato might be the guy. It just didn't happen the way he probably envisioned it. Following months of speculation and an investigation into former coach Mel Pear- son's program, Naurato — one of Pear- son's assistants a year ago — was given the reins to the team on an interim basis when Pearson's contract wasn't renewed. Naurato's promotion helped stabilize the program and kept most of an out- A FRESH START Interim Coach Brandon Naurato's First Michigan Hockey Team Is Young, But Talented Junior goaltender Erik Portillo, the 2022 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a conference goaltender of the year finalist, chose to return to school and should be one of the nation's top netminders this season. Michigan is ranked No. 6 in the DCU/ preseason poll. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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