Toronto Marlies lose in first Battle of Ontario home-and-home series

HAMILTON — Patrick Holland scored the winner on a tip as the Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Toronto Marlies 4-1 at the Copps Coliseum on Friday night, in the first of 12 meetings between the teams this season.

Louis Leblanc scored twice, opening the scoring with one and ending the night with the final goal into an empty-net.

Jake Gardiner was the only Marlie to score, in the third period from Greg Scott and Jerry D’Amigo.

Darryl Boyce, who made his debut against his former team since being dealt to the Bulldogs earlier this month, earned an assist on the first goal.  Aaron Palushaj added the third marker in the final period from Holland.

Hamilton was shorthanded three times in the first period but was able to kill them all off.

Marlies outshot their opponents 16-6 in the first frame but their only good chance came duing a Hamilton penalty.

Mike Kitsch, who has two points so far in the season, received the puck as he was fully open but wasn’t able to score.

The Marlies had more chances in front of the net in the second period but Robert Mayer was on top of all of them.

Five players from both teams received roughing penalties.   Toronto was back on the penalty kill for the second time in the game as Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne and Leo Kamarov sat in the box.  Blunden and Brendon Nash served for Hamilton.

Kamarov had a close opportunity right after he stepped out of the box as he made a slap shot right into Mayer’s glove.  Not long after, Holland tipped the puck in behind Ben Scrivens to make it 2-0.

Scrivens stopped 37 shots while Mayer blocked 28 for Hamilton..

Toronto is now 0-2 on the road and will travel back home for game two of the home-and-home series against Hamilton at the Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.