Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton led by example in a 3-1 season opening win over the Rochester Americans with two power play goals on Sunday afternoon.
All four of the markers scored came on the man advantage.
Hamilton’s first came at 9:18 in the first period on the power play, after Mike Zigomanis and Joe Colborne would deliver a set of intricate passes, putting the Marlies up 2-0.
The 27-year-old forward added an insurance goal at 7:30 in the third period, completing a nifty spin move that fooled the Americans’ goaltender Daniel Leggio, and Toronto never let go of its 3-1 lead.
Toronto (1-0) is looking to retool after being swept in the Calder Cup finals last season by the Norfolk Admirals.
Rochester (1-1) entered Toronto after winning 6-5 in overtime against the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night.
Zigomanis had a goal waved off in the third period as it was deemed that Hamilton had interfered with Leggio.
Jake Gardiner, who was one of the Maple Leafs’ top players last year, buried a wrist shot in the bottom right corner to give Toronto an early 1-0 lead.
Gardiner was the best player on the ice, nearly setting up Nazem Kadri for a goal early in the third period after effortlessly gliding through the neutral zone.
Marcus Foligno put Rochester on the board with his second goal of the season, burying a Cody Hodgson pass with the man advantage at the 5:59 mark of the second period.
Shortly after Foligno’s goal, Brayden McNabb had a chance to equalize for Rochester on a breakaway, but was turned away by Toronto’s Ben Scrivens.
The goaltender stopped 20 shots, while Rochester’s Leggio made 34 saves in a losing effort.
Because of the NHL lockout, many players who ordinarily would be preparing for another campaign have shifted to the AHL.
Gardiner played in 75 games with the Maple Leafs in his rookie season and scored 7 goals and 23 assists.
Rochester’s Hodgson made 83 appearances between stints with the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres.
A sellout of 7,921 fans were in attendance at Ricoh Coliseum.