TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies played only once this weekend, which is rare, but it was a historic game as they faced the host Hamilton Bulldogs in the first ever outdoor game played in the province of Ontario.
Titled the Outdoor Classic, or the Steeltown Showdown, 20,565 fans packed Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday afternoon and saw Toronto defeat division-rival Hamilton 7-2.
“Great effort by the Toronto Marlies today,” tweeted Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins after the game. “Outdoor game will be one to remember for all of us.”
Greg Scott scored two goals for the Marlies, Nicolas Deschamps scored once and set up two more, Mike Zigomanis had a goal and an assist while Joe Colborne, Marcel Mueller and Drew Paris added a goal apiece.
For Paris, it was his first American Hockey League goal since the 2009/10 season.
Jerry D’Amigo and Philippe Dupuis each had three assists as Jesse Blacker and Ryan Hamilton picked up one apiece.
Dany Masse and Louis Leblanc scored for the Bulldogs, who lost to Toronto for the first time in four outings.
Ben Scrivens made 19 saves for his ninth win of the season while Nathan Lawson allowed all seven goals on 27 shots for the loss.
The power play was ineffective for both clubs as Toronto went 0 for 1 and Hamilton failed to score on three opportunities with the man advantage.
Masse opened the scoring 27 seconds into the game but the Marlies scored three straight to take a 3-1 lead into first intermission.
Zigomanis scored first at 5:26, followed by Scott at 8:19 and finally Paris at 12:02.
Mueller scored at 8:33 of the second, however Leblanc responded at 10:28 to make it a two-goal game after 40 minutes.
Toronto scored three times within 2:31 in the third to open the game wide up.
Colborne scored at 16:08, Deschamps at 18:00 and then Scott with his second of the game at 18:31.
The Marlies next game is this Thursday when they head to Cleveland to play the Lake Erie Monsters.
Lake Erie has won the last four meetings including three in a row at home.