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Greg McKegg, Marlies hit stride in third period in 4-1 win over Bulldogs

Sunday, 03.16.2014 / 5:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Greg McKegg, Marlies hit stride in third period in 4-1 win over Bulldogs

TORONTO - Centre Greg McKegg scored twice and goalie Christopher Gibson made 31 saves to lead the Toronto Marlies over the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Sunday.

Sam Carrick and Jerry D'Amigo, with an empty-netter, also scored as part of a three-goal third period that broke the game open for Toronto.

Josh Leivo, Spencer Aboott and Jerrod Smithson collected two assists apiece in front of an announced crowd of 6,399 at Ricoh Coliseum.

The Marlies won their second consecutive game to improve to 36-19-5 and bolster their first-place standing in the North Division.

Justin Courtnall had the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who lost for the fifth time in six games to drop to 26-30-5. Bulldogs netminder Robert Mayer made 21 saves in a losing effort.

The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and stayed that way through 40 minutes.

A turnover by the Marlies in the defensive zone led to the game's opening goal. Bulldogs centre Joonas Nattinen corralled the loose puck in the corner and passed off to Courtnall, who curled into the slot and beat a screened Gibson with a backhander at 11:36.

The Marlies tied the game less than two minutes later when Leivo threaded a pass through the crease to McKegg, who lifted the puck into the gaping net for a power-play goal at 13:14.

After a scoreless second period, Carrick gave the Marlies a 2-1 edge when he beat Mayer low to the stick side with a wrist shot from the slot at 6:08 of the third period.

McKegg put Toronto up by a pair when he buried a rebound from the slot at 11:17. D'Amigo closed out the scoring with an empty-netter at 18:30

Hamilton was 0-for-2 on the power play while Toronto went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

The Marlies and Bulldogs are off until Wednesday, when Toronto visits the Lake Erie Monsters and Hamilton hosts the Abbotsford Heat.

Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL