BLAINE — The Austin Bruins couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.
Veteran defenseman Devon Fields scored 16 minutes into the game and rookie goalie Jaxon Freidman recorded a 22-save shutout to lift Austin to a 1-0 victory against Jamestown (N.Y.) on the opening day of the North American Hockey League Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine.
Fields scored an unassisted goal at 16:04 of the first period, the first goal of the Bruins’ 10th season and the only goal of the game.
Perhaps more important to the Bruins, they played a strong game on the back end.
Their defensive corps allowed just 11 shots through two periods, then Friedman — a 6-foot-3, 185-pounder from Cape Elizabeth, Maine — stood tall in the third. The 19-year-old, who turns 20 on Monday, turned away all nine shots the Rebels threw at him as they attempted to rally in the third period.
Austin (1-0-0) outshot Jamestown 33-20 in the game.
Veteran Hugh Larkin and newcomer Peter Jacobs led Austin in shots on goal, with five each.
The Bruins continue play at the four-day Showcase on Thursday with an 8 p.m. game against Janesville (Wis.). Austin then faces New Mexico at 5 p.m. Friday and wraps up Showcase play with a 6:45 p.m. game Saturday against Kenai River (Alaska).
BRUINS 1, REBELS 0
Jamestown 0 0 0 — 0
Austin 1 0 0 — 1
First period — 1. AUS, Devon Fields 1 (unassisted) 16:04. Second period — no scoring. Third period — no scoring.
Shots on goal — JMS 7-4-9—20, AUS 15-7-11—33. Goalies — JMS, Noah West (L, 0-1-0; 32 saves-33 shots); AUS, Jaxon Friedman (W, 1-0-0; 20 saves-20 shots). Power-play opportunities — JMS, 0-for-1; AUS, 0-for-5. Penalties — JMS, 5-10 minutes; AUS, 1-2 minutes.