TORONTO -- Ryan Hamilton scored the goals and Drew MacIntyre prevented them as the Toronto Marlies won their second game in a row.
Hamilton tallied twice in the second period, including the game-winner on a penalty shot, and MacIntyre stopped 27 of 28 shots to lead the Marlies to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Rochester Americans in American Hockey League action on Wednesday.
"He's our best guy in the shootout by far, so it's always nice when they call his name to take (a penalty shot)," said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. "There's a very good chance he's going to score."
With the win, the Marlies improved to 28-18-6 and moved into first place in the North Division.
"We did a lot of good things tonight," said Hamilton, who leads Toronto in scoring with 23 goals and 36 points. "We took a lot of shots, which is something we've been struggling with lately. Obviously MacIntyre played huge for us. It was a big win and we've got to keep it going.
"We knew this was a huge game. We have to get as many points as we can. It feels like playoff games every game now and it's exciting and we're looking forward to coming down the stretch."
Mark Mancari replied for the Amerks (27-22-3), who have lost four straight and are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Rochester netminder David Leggio made 37 saves.
"Our guys were committed defensively tonight," Eakins said. "We had a few hiccups that didn't cost us anything, and we kept pushing the envelope offensively. We had some great, great chances that Leggio was able to keep out."
Hamilton opened the scoring when he deflected Paul Ranger's point shot past Leggio 15 seconds into the middle frame. Mancari tied it up on the power play when his blast from the left point beat MacIntyre high on the blocker side at 11:41.
Hamilton restored Toronto's lead just under two minutes later on a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway by Amerks defenceman Nick Crawford.
"You just try to focus on the little things," Hamilton said. "I've been kind of struggling in the shootout in practice, so I changed it up a little bit and sometimes you get the good result. Fortunately it went in.
"Any time you're getting chances, that's a good thing. When you're not getting scoring chances, that's when you get concerned."
Toronto was 0-for-3 on the power play while Rochester went 1-for-2.
The Marlies host the Binghamton Senators in a pair of games this weekend.