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Troy Bodie making most of time in AHL, leads Marlies past Checkers 3-2 @NHLdotcom

TORONTO - Troy Bodie's trying to make the best of his time in the American Hockey League.

Bodie had the winner and added an assist as the Toronto Marlies extended their win streak to three games on Tuesday with a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Checkers.

The 28-year-old winger saw the writing on the wall when the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks last Saturday. Bodie was assigned to the Marlies to make space for Holland, a badly needed re-enforcement at centre for the NHL club.

"I kind of saw that coming just being a little thin at centre. That's how the game goes and you work hard and move on," said Bodie on Tuesday. "You're always a little disappointed when you get sent down, but that's the game.

"You're here to play the game and play your best."

Bodie re-directed a John-Michael Liles point shot at 13:26 of the third period, beating John Muse for his first of the season as Toronto defeated Charlotte for the second time in three games.

"I thought Sam (Carrick) and Josh (Leivo) did a good job in the corner just battling it out and Josh threw it out to Johnny, who put a good wrist shot on net and I was lucky enough to get a stick on it," Bodie said of the goal.

Leivo and Brad Ross had the other goals for the Marlies (9-6-1), while Drew MacIntyre made 15 saves improving to 9-4-0 on the season.

Brett Sutter and Rasmus Rissanen scored for the Checkers (5-10-1), who have now lost a franchise-worse seven in a row. Muse stopped 27 shots.

Sutter tied the game 2-2 at 2:17 of the third, beating MacIntyre blocker-side for his first of the season.

"We knew Charlotte was going to come. They're a team that's trying to find an identity," said Marlies coach, Steve Spott. "They've got some young players and we knew that they were going to come hard. Charlotte played a real hard game."

Marlies defenceman Petter Granberg stepped up the physical play in the second period.

Granberg caught Sutter, with an open-ice, blindside, hit near the 13-minute mark of the period. Sutter struggled to get to his feet and left the game briefly. Granberg did not receive a penalty on the play.

A minute later, Granberg levelled Checkers' forward Sean Dolan in the corner and was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.

Dolan was able to skate to the Charlotte bench under his own strength and remained in the game.

"He's a lot more physical than people give him credit for and he's a tough guy to play against," said Spott. "There was some hits there that we had to kill off, but ultimately we've got a big, tough group and we know that's going to be part of our mindset."

Rissanen got Charlotte on the board at 11:02 of the first period when his point shot got past a screened MacIntyre.

Toronto's Ross tied it 1-1 at 14:30 putting home the rebound off a Granberg shot past a sprawling Muse.

Leivo gave the Marlies a 2-1 lead, on a power play, at 5:39 of the second beating Muse glove side with a wrist shot for his fifth of the season.

Notes: Toronto assigned goaltender Garret Sparks to the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears and recalled Christopher Gibson. Marlies forward Jamie Devane was suspended one game by the American Hockey League on Monday for a boarding penalty he received in Toronto's 3-2 shootout victory Sunday. The AHL and Marlies announced Monday that Toronto will play an exhibition game Feb. 15 against Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League.

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