Marlies Beat By Bulldogs

Maxwell scores tiebreaker in third period as Bulldogs win 4-3 over Marlies

Canadian Press
February 18, 2011

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TORONTO - With a season-high eight-game homestand underway, the Toronto Marlies know they'll have to improve their record at Ricoh Collesium.

That didn't happen Friday night.

Ben Maxwell
scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period as the Hamilton Bulldogs snapped a five-game losing streak with 4-3 win over the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League.

Andreas Engqvist, Aaron Palushaj and Hunter Bishop also scored for the Bulldogs (29-20-5), while Curtis Sanford got his 20th win with a 17-save performance.

John Mitchell, Ryan Hamilton and Danny Richmond replied for the Marlies (27-23-7). Ben Scrivens stopped 26 shots in the loss.

The loss dropped the Marlies to just 10-10-2 at home compared to a 17-13-5 record on the road.

``We got the grind of the road trips out of the way,'' Hamilton said. ``We've got a lot of home games coming up, and a lot of divisional games. We need to be prepared and get these wins. They're crucial.''

The club plays 19 of its final 24 games at home. Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins is preaching simplicity to his players and wants his team play the same way at home that it does on the road.

``Our game doesn't change for the overall system at home,'' Eakins said. ``We have to play a simple game. We play hard. We're a tough team to play against when we're going, and that's the how we want to play.''

``Our guys know exactly where we're at in the standings,'' Eakins said. ``They know that each period of each game is important.''

The win lifted Hamilton ahead of Toronto in the North Division, as both teams came into the game tied for third in the division with 61 points each. The race is tight in the North with just three points separating first from fifth place.

``If the power play isn't going then we got to pick it up 5-on-5,'' Hamilton said. ``It would be nice to see the power play get more goals, but they're moving the puck around real well and it's just a matter of time.

``We've got a lot of skill out there. It just takes a shot to get through and a lucky bounce to get the power play going.''

The Bulldogs opened the scoring on a two-man advantage just 4:39 into the game. Engqvist flipped the puck over Scrivens during a scramble around the Marlies net for his seventh goal of the season.

The Marlies had their own 5-on-3 advantage a few minutes later, but their 28th-ranked power play couldn't convert.

Hamilton made it 2-0 at 9:18 of the second when Palushaj tipped in a cross-crease pass from Kyle Klubertanz for his 11th of the season.

Toronto answered just 1:03 later when Mitchell scored his first for the Marlies during a scramble around the Bulldogs' goal.

Hamilton tied the game for the Marlies at 15:39, finishing off a pretty three-way passing play from Richmond, Nazem Kadri and Greg Scott.

Richmond gave Toronto the lead less than two minutes into the third period. He went in on a 2-on-1 rush with Hamilton who slipped Richmond a pass across the crease for an easy tap in.

Hamilton tied the game 3-3 at 8:32 when Scrivens let in a weak goal off a long slap shot from Bishop just inside the Marlies blue-line.

The Bulldogs then made it 4-3 at 11:42 on the power play when Maxwell's slap shot bounced over Scrivens shoulder.

With Jonas Gustavsson and Jussi Rynnas out with injuries, Scrivens got the start in goal. But he will back up James Reimer for the Maple Leafs Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators in place of J-S Giguere who re-aggravated a groin injury Wednesday in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

``I'm excited for the opportunity,'' Scrivens said. ``A lot of things happened for this to come about. I'm just going to go up there, work as hard as I can and see where it takes me.''

Scrivens' back-up was new Marlies goalie Andrew Engelage, who signed Friday from the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL.

The Marlies will have another new face on the team Saturday when they take on the Grand Rapids Griffins. Joe Colborne, the centre who was acquired by the Maple Leafs Friday from Boston in exchange for Tomas Kaberle, will make his debut.

``We're going to put him in the middle because that's where he's been playing,'' Eakins said. ``We'll see where it goes from there. I'm going to have to get a feel for him first.''

Colborne doesn't know what his role will be with the Marlies but he expects to be a significant part of the club.

``Hopefully (Eakins) sees me going out there and being a pretty big part of the team,'' Colborne said. ``I'll do whatever he wants.''

The Bulldogs take on the San Antonio Rampage Saturday afternoon in Hamilton.

Notes: Goalie David Brown from the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League also signed with the Marlies Friday. ... The Marlies play 19 of their final 24 games at home. ... Hamilton and Toronto meet for their final two games against each other in a home-and-home series March 5 and 6. ... Announced attendance was 5,046.

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