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‘Dogs hold off Marlies, win fourth straight

HAMILTON 3, TORONTO 2
Hamilton jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period and held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Toronto on Thursday at Copps Coliseum.

The Bulldogs, returning home for the first time since Mar. 13, extended their winning streak to four games and improved to 15-2-0-1 in their last 18 contests.

Already assured of the North Division title, Hamilton also set a new franchise record with its 50th win of the season (50-16-3-6). The Bulldogs had previously won 49 games during the 2002-03 and 2008-09 seasons.

Ryan White opened the game’s scoring 5:42 into the first period on Thursday, and David Desharnais made it 2-0 at 10:10, with defenseman Andre Benoit assisting on both markers.

Marlies defenseman Drew Paris cut his team’s deficit in half at 14:38 of the second period, and it remained a 2-1 contest until J.T. Wyman tallied an empty-net goal at 18:55 of the third period.

Wyman’s insurance goal proved to be the game-winner when Toronto’s Kyle Calder scored with 23 seconds to play in regulation. But the Marlies were unable to tie it up and remained five points back of Manitoba for the North Division’s final playoff spot.

Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, named a Second Team AHL All-Star earlier in the day, made 23 saves to improve to 27-8-3 on the season.