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MacDonald makes 18 saves, Hamilton scores twice as Marlies beat Phantoms

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TORONTO - Between Joey MacDonald and Ryan Hamilton, the Toronto Marlies had both ends of the ice covered.

MacDonald posted a shutout while Hamilton had a pair of goals as the Marlies snapped a two-game losing streak by dropping the Adirondack Phantoms 3-0 in American Hockey League action Friday night.

MacDonald was making his first start with the Marlies since the first game of the season, after spending the majority of October with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His teammates made sure he was well protected in his return, allowing Adirondack (4-4-1) just 18 shots on goal. The Marlies (4-3-2) had surrendered an average of 39 shots over the past three games.

The game remained in doubt until midway through the third, when Hamilton one-timed his second goal of the game to give Toronto a three-goal advantage and allow the Ricoh Coliseum crowd of 2,386 to breathe a little easier.

Juraj Mikus scored Toronto's other goal, while Mike Zigomanis contributed two assists. The slick centre now has seven helpers in four games since signing a pro tryout contract with the Marlies on Oct. 19.

The game featured Greg Gilbert's return to Toronto, where he coached the Marlies the previous three seasons before becoming Adirondack's coach last summer.

It also saw some serious line-juggling by the Marlies' current coach, Dallas Eakins, who was without forwards Andre Deveaux, Tyler Bozak and Richard Greenop due to the flu. Eakins shifted Todd Perry and Phil Oreskovic to wing from their usual defence position.

The Marlies dominated the opening 20 minutes of play, outshooting Adirondack 14-4 in a period that saw Toronto take a 2-0 lead.

Hamilton got things going just over seven minutes into the game on a nice individual effort. After taking the puck down the boards, Hamilton cut to the slot, picked up his own rebound after Phantoms goalie Nic Riopel stopped his first shot and jammed it home.

Mikus' goal came from the same spot on the ice, only he beat Riopel clean on his first effort. Zigomanis made a nifty backhand pass from the boards to spring Mikus, who wired a laser high on the stick side past Riopel.

Notes: Viktor Stalberg picked up an assist in the first AHL regular season game of his career. Stalberg had one assist in two playoff games last spring after joining the Marlies from the University of Vermont. Zigomanis played 22 games for the Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

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