The Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Toronto Marlies 4-1 in the first game of the home-and home-series at their home opener on Friday.

Former Marlie Boyce makes debut against his former team

HAMILTON — Bulldogs’ Darryl Boyce earned his first assist against his former team, the Toronto Marlies, in a 4-1 decision against the blue and white at the Copps Coliseum on Friday.

Boyce contributed to Louis Leblanc’s opening goal close to the end of the first period.

Friday was the first time where he was not dressed in blue and white and playing for the other side.

The 6-foot centre joined the Hamilton club at the beginning of the month and head coach Sylvain Lefebvre thinks that he fits very well with the team.

“He’s been a great addition.  I can have him out there against the best lines, he’s killing penalties and taking faceoffs and he’s a great veteran.”

Boyce played 191 games with the Toronto Marlies and spent three seasons in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He makes a great presence in the locker room and off the ice and you can’t ask for anything better,” Lefebvre said, in a media scrum outside the locker room after the game.

Boyce was not the only one who made a splash on Friday night. The Bulldog’s starting goalie, Robert Mayer, made 38 saves out of 39 shots.

“He was a key for us all night long,” Lefebvre said. “He made some big saves and was a key for our win tonight.”

Playing in place for Cedrick Desjardins, Mayer is now 2-0 with a 1.92 GAA.

Patrick Holland, who scored in the second period and received an assist in the third, earned his first professional goal that also counted as the game-winner.

“He [Holland] struggled a little bit at the start [of the game] but he started to play better later,” Lefebvre said.

The Bulldogs will travel to Toronto on Saturday to finish the home-and-home series at the Ricoh Coliseum.