TORONTO - Tim Stapleton scored twice and added an assist as the Toronto Marlies won a franchise-record seventh consecutive home game with a 4-2 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs in American Hockey League action on Friday night.
Forwards Jiri Tlusty and Kyle Rogers also scored for the Marlies in front of 3,921 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
Mike Glumac, with his team-leading 20th goal of the season, and Brock Trotter replied for the Bulldogs.
The win was Toronto's second in a row as the Marlies improved to 23-17-7 on the season, while Hamilton dropped its second consecutive game to fall to 28-17-2. It was the seventh of 12 regular season meetings between the North Division and provincial rivals, and surely one of the chippier affairs.
Toronto was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Hamilton went 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Justin Pogge made 17 saves for the win, while Cedric Desjardins made 35 saves.
The Marlies led 1-0 after the period and were up 3-1 through 40 minutes.
Tlusty opened the scoring when he deflected defenceman Richard Petiot's point shot past Desjardins at 6:05 of the first period.
The Marlies held onto the lead until Glumac's power-play marker tied it up 1-1 at 10:09 of the second period. The Bulldogs winger came out of the corner with the puck and squeezed a shot past Pogge on the short side.
Toronto regained the edge a little more than two minutes later when Rogers collected Darryl Boyce's rebound in the slot and easily deposited the puck into the gaping net at 12:26.
Less than four minutes later, at 16:54 of the second period, Stapleton one-timed a pass from Staffon Kronwall to give Toronto a 3-1 advantage heading into the third.
The Marlies lost gritty winger Kris Newbury at the 6:23 mark of the second period when he was kicked out of the game for being the third man in after Hamilton's Ryan Flinn jumped Toronto captain Ben Ondrus.
Ondrus, usually a willing participant, had his back turned and was unable to fend off Flinn. There were several other scrums during subsequent stoppages, but Flinn and Ondrus received the only fighting majors in the contest.
Stapleton gave Toronto a three-goal lead when he scored to make it 4-1 at 9:05 of the third period, and Maxwell closed out the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:27.
The Marlies host the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday afternoon and then are off until the Syracuse Crunch visit next Saturday. Hamilton's next game is on the road against the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday.