The Hamilton Bulldogs successfully defended a 2-1 first period lead to defeat the North Division leading Toronto Marlies in the fourth Battle of Ontario match-up of the season.
Hamilton was quick to get on the board, with Alexander Avtsin scoring his sixth of the season just 59 seconds into the American Hockey League game. The Marlies tied the score on a power play after the puck took a double deflection in front of Peter Delmas’ net. Marcel Mueller got the marker at 7:17 in the first period.
But with just 57 seconds to go in the opening stanza, Andreas Engqvist gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
Periods two and three were highlighted by Delmas and Toronto Marlies netminder Ben Scrivens making key saves. Toronto spent most of the final two minutes of the game on the power play but the Bulldogs hung on for the one-goal victory.
The ‘Dogs also led the Marlies on the shot clock, registering 29 shots to Toronto’s 27, before a crowd of 5,029.
The Hamilton win came after back-to-back losses for the Bulldogs who held onto third place, eight points behind the Marlies and three back of second place Rochester Americans.
The Bulldogs will face the Milwaukee Admirals who are in third place in the Midwest Division with 44 points. Gametime at Copps Coliseum is 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 18) before taking on the Marlies for the 2012 AHL Outdoor Classic on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. at Ivor Wynne Stadium.