TORONTO - Carter Ashton scored the eventual winner on Sunday as the Toronto Marlies edged the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 2-1 in American Hockey League action.
T.J. Brennan also scored for the Marlies (4-1-0), who are unbeaten in four games at the Ricoh Coliseum this season, and goaltender Drew MacIntyre made 16 saves for the victory.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead at 5:30 of the second period when Ashton put home a Spencer Abbott rebound while on the power play.
Hamilton cut Toronto's lead in half 2:08 into the third period on Blunden's second goal of the season.
The Bulldogs pulled their goaltender with less than a minute remaining, but could not find the equalizer.
Ashton had an excellent chance to get Toronto on the board 6:55 into the first period when he was awarded a penalty shot, however Mayer stopped him.
Brennan opened the scoring with his league-leading eighth goal of the season, on the power play, at 8:29 of the first period. With Erik Nystrom off serving a tripping penalty, Brennan one-timed a John-Michael Liles feed past Mayer.
Near the midway mark of the opening period, Hamilton's Gabriel Dumont hit Toronto's Jerry D'Amigo hard, from behind. D'Amigo remained down for a moment, but was able to skate off under his own strength. Dumont was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.
Thirty seconds later, Nathan Beaulieu went to the box for shooting the puck over the glass giving the Marlies an extended 5-on-3 opportunity, but Toronto was unable to capitalize.
Notes: Bulldogs' forward Martin St. Pierre missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. The Maple Leafs assigned Carter Ashton, Trevor Smith and David Broll to the Marlies Sunday morning.
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