TORONTO -- A day after being demoted to the American Hockey League, T.J. Brennan gave the Toronto Maple Leafs another reason to call him back up.
The 24-year-old scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Toronto Marlies to a 6-3 win over the St. John's IceCaps in AHL action Saturday afternoon.
Brennan opened the season by being named AHL player-of-the-week and was summoned by the Maple Leafs Wednesday. While he didn't see any game action in his brief stint, he says he got enough of a taste while practicing with the big club to keep hopeful for another re-call.
"You see the level and the pace up there and you try and reflect your game off that speed," said Brennan. "I'm just trying to do the things that elevate my game. That's where I want to be."
The hat trick was Brennan's second of the season and he now leads the AHL in scoring with seven goals and 10 points in three contests.
Wade MacLeod, John-Michael Liles and Stefan Legein had the other goals for Toronto (3-0-0) while Spencer Abbott and Trevor Smith chipped in with two assists apiece.
Andrew Gordon, Jerome Samson and Will O'Neill scored for St. John's (1-2-1).
Drew MacIntyre made 21 saves for the win as Jussi Olkinuora turned aside 27 shots in defeat.
MacIntyre, who played with Brennan two seasons ago with the Rochester Americans, is familiar with how Brennan plays an offensive minded game. But he's most impressed with the way the 24-year-old has come along protecting his own net.
"He could play forward easily, but he's good defensivly too," said MacIntyre. "He's worked hard at that."
Brennan scored two goals in the first 2:43 of the opening period to put the Marlies ahead.
However, Toronto picked up three straight penalties, including a double minor to Sam Carrick for roughing, and the IceCaps scored three times to take a 3-2 lead into the first intermission.
Gordon put St. John's on the board at 6:11 while O'Neill and Samson added power-play goals.
Marlies' head coach Steve Spott was not pleased with his club's lack of discipline in the opening 20 minutes, and questioned the double minor handed to Carrick.
"I'm really not sure what happened on that play," said Spott. "I didn't get an explanation so I'm not sure what he did."
Liles tied the game with a power-play goal at 15:28 of the second period and MacLeod put Toronto ahead in the final minute of the period.
Legein added to the Marlies lead midway through the third period and Brennan capped the game with a goal into an empty net.
"Sometimes the best defence is a good offence," said Brennan.
Both clubs went 2 for 7 on the power play.