Greg McKegg scores twice to lift Toronto Marlies over Charlotte Checkers 4-1

Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 5:55 PM The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Greg McKegg scored twice and added an assist as the Toronto Marlies defeated the visiting Charlotte Checkers 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Saturday.

John-Michael Liles and Jerry D'Amigo, with an empty-netter, also scored for Toronto, who snapped a three-game losing skid to improve to 7-6-1. T.J. Brennan collected two assists and Spencer Abbott had a helper to add to his league-leading total (18 in 13 games).

Zach Boychuk had the lone tally for the Checkers, who dropped their sixth straight game to fall to 5-9-1.

Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre was sharp making 27 saves for the victory, while Checkers netminder John Muse stopped 27 of 30 shots.

It was the Marlies' first home game since Oct. 26. Toronto went 2-3-1 on a six-game trip while the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair took up residence in Ricoh Coliseum for the first two weeks of November.

The physical tone was set early when Toronto winger Jamie Devane bodychecked Charlotte defenceman Michal Jordan into the end boards at 2:38 of the first period. Jordan lay on the ice for a few minutes before being helped to the dressing room. He didn't return to the game.

No penalty was called on the play, but Checkers' defenceman Matthew Corrente took exception to the borderline hit and fought Devane moments later. Charlotte's Nicolas Blanchard and Toronto's David Broll also dropped the gloves before the midway point of the opening frame.

The Marlies won the special-teams battle, going 2-for-5 on the power play — including a pair of man-advantage goals in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead — and went 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.

Liles opened the scoring on the man advantage when his wrist shot from the point hit a Charlotte player in front and fooled Muse at 3:04 of the first period. McKegg made it 2-0 on another Marlies power play late in the opening frame, when he outwaited the Checkers' goalie and slipped the puck into the net at 19:11.

McKegg gave Toronto a 3-0 edge when he zipped a wrist shot past Muse's glove and into the top left corner at 6:01 of the third period.

Boychuk scored on the power play a few minutes later to get Charlotte on the board, whacking a loose puck past MacIntyre at 9:11, and D'Amigo close out the scoring with an empty-net tally at 19:46.

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