Leblanc's pair lead Bulldogs to win over Marlies

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The Canadian Press
2/6/2013 10:06:49 PM
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TORONTO -- This time the Hamilton Bulldogs didn't let a multi-goal lead slip away against their provincial rivals.

Louis Leblanc scored twice as the Bulldogs beat the Marlies 6-4 in American Hockey League action on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs had seen a three-goal lead evaporate in the third but Gabriel Dumont fed Leblanc from the corner and he beat Marlies goalie Jussi Rynnas from close range at 14:41.

Last Saturday Hamilton had watched their two-goal advantage slip away in a 4-2 loss to Toronto.

"It feels huge, you know, (you) can't get satisfied. It's been a tough year for our team, for myself, injury wise, producing wise," said Leblanc who had just scored once in 2013 prior to Wednesday night. "It feels good to get obviously points, but the win's huge."

Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn, Tyler Murovich and Dumont, into an empty net, also scored for the Bulldogs (15-23-6), while Cedrick Desjardins made 42 saves.

Jamie Devane, Jesse Blacker, Ryan Hamilton and Jerry D'Amigo each replied for the Marlies (24-15-4), while Rynnas stopped 20 shots.

"It was a headshaking night on a number of fronts," said Marlies' head coach Dallas Eakins. "You get down by three goals then you tied it up. Everything's heading in your direction then suddenly another weird bounce out of the corner."

Beaulieu got things started at 5:49 off a faceoff in the Toronto zone when his one-time blast from the left point eluded Rynnas, who was screened on the play.

The Bulldogs doubled their advantage largely thanks to the Marlies drawing three simultaneous minor penalties. Just five seconds into their five-on-three advantage Pateryn fired home his first goal of the season from the point.

It's rarely seen but Devane, Kenny Ryan and Corey Syvret were all sent to the box for minor hooking, interference and high-sticking penalties respectively on the same sequence.

It left their coach scratching his head and forced him to be diplomatic when questioned after the game.

"You should walk right down (to the referees' locker-room) and ask that question and see if they'll answer," said Eakins.

Toronto got one goal back after Devane stepped out of the penalty box. With the puck in the Marlies zone, Greg Scott sprawled all-out to poke the puck out to Devane who scored on the breakaway at 18:18.

It didn't take long for Hamilton to regain its two-goal advantage. Just under two minutes into the second period Leblanc chased after a loose puck to Rynnas' left before backtracking to the front of the goal and letting go a backhand shot that eluded the Marlies' goalie for a 3-1 lead.

Murovich gave Hamilton a three-goal advantage at 5:09 of the second when he converted on a backhand shot of his own from close range.

The Marlies dominated the third and started the rally on Blacker's wrist shot at 1:57 that reduced the margin to two. At 6:06, Ryan Hamilton banged in a rebound to make it a one-goal game.

Toronto continued to carry the play and the Bulldogs held out until D'Amigo let a quick snap shot go from the slot that tied the game.

After that goal, Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre called timeout to rally his players who had watched another lead against Toronto disappear.

"I just told them to play your game, just like you played the first two periods," said Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre. "Make sure we don't get rattled, we don't get too nervous, we just go out there and play."

Notes: Wednesday's game was originally scheduled for 11 a.m. as a school-day game but was moved to the evening due to the ongoing labour dispute between teachers and the provincial government. a Attendance at Ricoh Coliseum was 6,308.

Hamilton Bulldogs (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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