HAMILTON - Mike Blunden and Sven Andrighetto each scored twice as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-2 in the American Hockey League on Friday.
Dustin Tokarski made 20 saves for the Bulldogs (14-14-4) in the win.
Carter Ashton and Sam Carrick scored for the Marlies (16-10-3), while Drew MacIntyre stopped 45 shots.
The first quality scoring chance of the night fell to the Bulldogs three minutes into the opening period, when Gabriel Dumont held the puck in the left circle and tested MacIntyre with a low wrist shot before chasing his own rebound.
It would be the Marlies who struck first, however, after Bulldog captain Martin St. Pierre was whistled for charging at 4:59.
Spencer Abbott nearly had a goal of his own on the ensuing power play, as his screened wrist shot from the right wing clanged off Tokarski's crossbar.
Instead, Abbott shifted the puck left to Greg McKegg, who found Ashton in the low slot with a centring pass. The winger drifted out to the top of the slot, turned and fired a rising wrist shot that beat Tokarski just inside the near post at 6:27 of the first period.
Hamilton used successful cycling to produce a tying goal early in the second period.
Dumont fought off a defender behind the net and circled out front, shovelling a backhanded shot along the ice that MacIntyre kicked to his left. But Blunden spotted the rebound as it slid through the crease, and quickly reacted to slot it in at 3:45 of the second period.
Special teams were a difference-maker for Toronto once again as the Marlies counter-attacked on the penalty kill to retake the lead at 9:20.
Carrick latched onto a loose puck in the neutral zone and carried it into the Hamilton zone, where Blunden was the last line of defence. The Bulldog made an ill-advised attempt to hit Carrick, and the Marlie dodged him and skated in on Tokarski, flipping a high shot over the sliding goaltender.
Having been burned on the defensive end, Blunden redeemed himself in the offensive zone to level the game once more.
Maxime Macenauer carried the puck into the zone along the left wing, and spun to create space before sliding a backhanded shot toward MacIntyre. The goaltender turned aside the initial chance, but Blunden pounced on the loose puck to fire home his second goal of the night at 14:06 of the second period.
The Bulldogs enjoyed a strong second period, and outshot the Marlies 34-14 through 40 minutes of play.
Hamilton's momentum carried into the third period, where the Bulldogs struck almost immediately to take their first lead of the game.
A stretch pass by Nathan Beaulieu sprung Patrick Holland and Andrighetto on a 2-on-1 break, with the former carrying the puck into the offensive zone and faking a shot before sliding a pass across to Andrighetto.
The rookie winger made no mistake, firing a high wrist shot over the shoulder of MacIntyre and just inside the crossbar at 1:38 of the third period.
Andrighetto struck for his second goal of the period with 45 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach. With the Bulldogs cycling the puck on the power play, St. Pierre threaded a short pass to the rookie along the right boards. Andrighetto faked and then fired a low slapshot that beat MacIntyre through traffic.