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A high five: Austin Bruins win fifth consecutive season opener

Ethan Robertson made 21 saves and three players scored once each for the Austin Bruins as they opened their 2022-23 season with a win at the NAHL Showcase.

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BLAINE — The Austin Bruins have made a habit of opening their season in a strong manner.

Wednesday, for the fifth consecutive year, the Bruins opened the regular season with a win.

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Former Rochester Century boys hockey standout Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup for the Rochester Grizzlies on Friday night. He scored a power-play goal and assisted on a short-handed goal in a 6-1 win against Oregon (Wis.).
The Austin Bruins didn't trail until a shootout Friday night, falling to defending NAHL Central Division champion St. Cloud, at St. Cloud. Austin plays its first home game of the regular season Saturday night.

They did it this time with a lot of contributions from veterans who have been through the grind of a North American Hockey League season before, and some chipping in from some NAHL newbies.

It all added up to a 3-1 Bruins win against the Northeast Generals (Attleboro, Mass.) on the opening day of the NAHL Showcase at the National Sports Center Super Rink.

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The Bruins outshot the Generals 33-22 and didn’t allow a goal over the game’s final 52 minutes.

Veteran netminder Ethan Robertson finished with 21 saves, while fellow vets Walter Zacher and Matys Brassard book-ended the team’s scoring.

In between, rookie forward Jackson Rilei scored his first NAHL goal, which held up as the game winner.

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Austin Salani

Returning forwards Isaak Brassard and Austin Salani added one assist apiece.

Austin’s winning streak in season openers began in the 2018-19 season, when it defeated Odessa (Texas) on the first day of the Showcase.

The Bruins have since defeated Jamestown (N.Y.) in 2019, Janesville (Wis.) in 2020 (in a season opener that was delayed until mid-November due to the COVID pandemic), and Wichita Falls (Texas) last year.

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The Bruins continue play at the Showcase at 5:15 p.m. Thursday against the Springfield (Mo.) Jr. Blues. The Showcase concludes Saturday.

BOX SCORE: Austin 3, Northeast 1

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