HAMILTON, Ont. -- Drew MacIntyre did everything asked of a veteran goaltender Friday night.
The 30-year-old didn't need to be spectacular, but made 24 saves as the Marlies defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-1 in American Hockey League play.
"There was no show-stopping save tonight," said Marlies head coach Steve Spott. "We did a very good job in front of (MacIntyre) tonight, but when he had to be good he was.
"He handled the puck well behind the net, he was vocal and controlled the game and he made the job easy for us defensively."
The Marlies were responsible in their own end and opportunistic in attack, which led to their coach being more than pleased with the overall effort.
"That was probably our best effort of the year," said Toronto head coach Steve Spott. "I think that from the first puck drop to the final whistle, it was our most complete game to date."
Jerry D'Amigo, David Broll and Sam Carrick scored for the Marlies (11-7-1).
Gabriel Dumont had the lone goal for the Bulldogs (9-9-3). Robert Mayer made 26 saves in a losing effort.
The game's first clear scoring chance fell to the Bulldogs six minutes into the opening period, just as Steve Quailer was whistled for tripping.
With the Marlies regrouping in the neutral zone, Dumont jumped into a passing lane and stole the puck, racing in for a shorthanded breakaway on MacIntyre. He shifted to his backhand, but couldn't manage a shot on goal with John-Michael Liles checking his stick.
A momentary lapse of concentration in the defensive zone cost Hamilton the first goal of the night at 13:03 of the first period.
Toronto's Josh Leivo took possession of the puck behind the goal line, and slid a short pass to the unguarded D'Amigo in the low slot. The winger easily placed a wrist shot past Mayer.
The Marlies struck early in the second period to double their lead on a power play, after the Bulldogs' Jarred Tinordi was whistled for delay of game.
With the penalty winding down, Broll took possession of the puck along the left boards and spotted Mayer deep in his crease, releasing a quick wrist shot that took the goaltender by surprise and beat him just inside his far post at 3:17 of the second period.
Dumont brought Hamilton within a goal just 41 seconds later.
He took the puck at the top of the right circle, and with no defender ready to meet him, drove the net alone. The winger deked past one defenceman before going wide around another and sliding a backhanded shot past MacIntyre.
Hamilton's momentum proved to be short-lived, however, as Toronto restored its two-goal lead at 5:57 of the second period.
Another missed assignment in the defensive zone allowed Carrick to drift into the slot unguarded, and Spencer Abbott found him with a pass from the right boards. Carrick dropped to one knee and one-timed the puck past Mayer at the near post.
Toronto was pressing for a fourth goal early in the third period, and Carrick nearly provided that insurance five minutes in. A deflection bounced to him in the slot, and Mayer produced one of his best saves of the night to swat away Carrick's wrist shot with his glove.
MacIntyre argued that his team's positive start to the third was crucial, desperate as the Bulldogs were for an early goal.
"They were coming for us and they didn't stop coming," he said. "We knew that and that's what we were saying after the second period.
"We had a great start to the third, and we needed that because we didn't want to give Hamilton life with a goal."