The Hamilton Bulldogs opened up their weekend with a 2-1 overtime win over the Toronto Marlies. This was the third Battle of Ontario matchup so far this season and the first one that Hamilton was victorious in. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs in terms of their battle for the division lead, their North Division rival Marlies still put up one point for the overtime loss and sit just one point behind Hamilton in second place.
In the first period the Marlies would come out strong and found the back of the net just about five minutes in. The goal would come from Josh Leivo, his first of the season and his AHL career, though strangely enough, it wasn't the first of his pro career as he already has his first NHL goal under his belt. Spencer Abbott and Greg McKegg would pick up the assists on the goal.
Leivo’s goal would be the only goal until midway through the third when Hamilton’s captain,Martin St. Pierre would put in his first of the night to tie it up at one. Patrick Holland and Magnus Nygren picked the assists. St. Pierre would connect once again with Nygren and this time with Nathan Beaulieu to put in the game winner with just over two minutes left in the extra time; both goals would come on the powerplay.
Dustin Tokarski got the start in net for the Bulldogs, his first against the Marlies this year, and made a total of 24 saves through out the contest. As for Toronto’s Drew MacIntyre (a former Bulldog), he would stop 35 shots and earn the second star of the game. It was in the third period when Tokarski really stood out; after losing his stick, he managed to maintain himself and stop a couple of shots while the Marlies were in his end for just over 20 seconds. Special teams proved to be the difference in this one as the Bulldogs were 2/4 with the man advantage while Toronto didn't score on their lone opportunity.
1. HAM – Martin St. Pierre 2. TOR – Drew MacIntyre 3. TOR – Josh Leivo
Hamilton hosts the Abbotsford Heat Saturday night, scheduled to start at 7pm. The teams have yet to meet up this season, and are both division leaders. The Heat are currently leading in the West Division, with a 6-5-0-1 record and are currently riding a 2-game winning streak after topping the Utica Comets in back-to-back matchups.
Becca Luden @BeccaEL