HAMILTON - Robert Mayer stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced and the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-1 on Friday in American Hockey League action.
Louis Leblanc scored twice and rookie winger Patrick Holland's first professional goal stood as the winner for Hamilton (2-0-0). Aaron Palushaj also scored for the Bulldogs.
Jake Gardiner scored the lone goal for the Marlies (1-2-0), while goaltender Ben Scrivens made 26 saves in front of an announced sellout crowd of 8,819 at Copps Coliseum.
Blake Geoffrion had the hosts' first scoring chance of the opening period with eight minutes remaining, keeping the puck on a 2-on-1 break but hitting the post with a wrist shot.
Mayer was the standout of the period, producing 16 saves to hold Toronto off of the scoreboard. The Bulldogs were outshot 16-6 in the period.
Hamilton opened the scoring with 46 seconds left in the first. Leblanc capped off a three-man break by tapping a short feed from Darryl Boyce past Scrivens for his first of the season.
The Marlies carried play once again in the second period, but couldn't solve Mayer.
The Bulldogs took advantage and doubled their lead at the 17:44 mark as Holland found a loose puck that careened off Scrivens' helmet before landing in the crease, where the winger jammed it home.
Toronto had a opportunity to get on the board early in the third period with a two-man advantage for 34 seconds. But a sprawling Mayer denied the Marlies an open opportunity, and the Bulldogs killed off both minors.
Hamilton made it 3-0 on the power play at 15:47 as Holland's centring pass found Palushaj and the winger snapped a quick shot past Scrivens from the left circle. The goal was Palushaj's second of the season and his second point of the night.
Toronto reduced their deficit to two at the 10:12 mark of the third, when Gardiner took a pass from winger Greg Scott and wristed the puck past Mayer.
The Bulldogs restored their three-goal lead when Leblanc scored his second goal of the game into an empty net at 17:49 of the period.