TORONTO - Jake Gardiner had a goal and two assists as the Toronto Marlies held on for a 5-4 victory over the visiting St. John?s IceCaps in American Hockey League action on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless opening period, five different Marlies players had goals in the second period. Kenny Ryan, Will Acton, Gardiner, Jerry D?Amigo and Carter Ashton each scored as Toronto led 5-1 going into the final period.
The Marlies scored three times in a five-minute span midway through the second period, then added two more goals late in the frame.
Ryan Hamilton and Dylan Yeo collected two assists apiece as the Marlies improved to 27-18-6 in front of 5,604 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
Kael Mouillierat, Ben Maxwell, Patrice Cormier and Spencer Machacek replied for the IceCaps (23-29-3), who have lost seven of their past nine games. Mouillierat added two assists while Dean Arsene chipped in with two helpers.
Toronto goalie Mark Owuya stopped 36 of 40 shots while St. John???s netminder Mark Dekanich made 17 saves.
Toronto opened the scoring at 5:23 of the second period when the puck bounced to Ryan in the slot and he wired a wrist shot past Dekanich. Less than three minutes later, Acton was credited with a goal off of a scramble in the IceCaps??? crease at 8:08. Two minutes after that, Gardiner hammered a slapshot past Dekanich during a 5-on-3 power play at 11:10.
D???Amigo made it 4-0 for Toronto when he broke in alone and deked Dekanich at 16:36. Mouillierat put the IceCaps on the scoreboard with a short-handed effort at 18:42, but Ashton replied less than a minute later when he broke in on a partial breakaway and slipped the puck between Dekanich???s legs at 19:23.
Maxwell???s slapper from the right point made it 5-2 at 11:49 of the third period, while Cormier scored a power-play marker at 18:59 and Machacek beat Owuya at 19:51 to round out the scoring.
Toronto was 1-for-4 on the power play while St. John???s went 1-for-6.
The IceCaps conclude their six-game road trip with a visit to Hamilton to face the Bulldogs on Tuesday, while the Marlies host the Rochester Americans on Wednesday.