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.
Mike Blunden scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs (1-1-2), who were held to just nine shots through the final forty minutes. Robert Mayer stopped 26 shots in defeat.
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.