Hamilton Bulldogs defenceman Greg Pateryn was in the right place at the right time, and he made the Toronto Marlies pay for it.
Pateryn scored from the side of the net on a rebound of Jared Tinordi's point shot at 3:53 of overtime, lifting the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory over their provincial rivals in American Hockey League action on Thursday afternoon.
"I knew I had to do something for my team," said Pateryn, who was whistled for a holding-the-stick penalty late in the third period. "I saw Louis (LeBlanc) on his forehand and Jared (Tinordi) ready with the one-timer and Louis threw it to Jared and he ripped it home, a perfect shot that came out to me. I didn't really think, I just put it in the net."
The win snaps a five-game losing skid for the Bulldogs, who improve to 13-14-4.
"It's one of those games where you're coming back from a three-day break and we weren't playing that great before, a five-game losing streak," said Bulldogs coach Stephane Lefebvre. "So to get the win today, for us it's a big win."
The matinee affair was played in front of an announced crowd of 16,589 fans in the Marlies' third annual Boxing Day game at Air Canada Centre, home of their NHL-parent club, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bulldogs outshoot Marlies 40-18
"I thought we controlled the game from start to finish," said Lefebvre, who watched his team outshoot the Marlies 40-18. "We turned the puck over a couple of times, especially in the second period which led to some scoring chances for them, but overall I thought we played a good game."
Joonas Nattinen scored in regulation time for Hamilton, taking advantage of a second-period miscue by Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre, while Bulldogs netminder Dustin Tokarski made 17 saves.
"It's hard sometimes when you're not getting shots and then suddenly they have a power play and shots are coming from every direction," said Pateryn about Tokarski. "He's been good all year and just continues to bail us out."
Defenceman T.J. Brennan had the lone tally for Toronto, who fall to 16-9-3 but remain in first place in the North Division. MacIntyre, with 39 saves, was sharp despite misplaying the puck on Nattinen's goal.
"He's a good goalie, he always puts up a good fight," Pateryn said. "We really peppered him today and he definitely stood on his head all game."
The game was tied 0-0 after the first period and the Bulldogs led 1-0 through 40 minutes.
After a failed clearing attempt by MacIntyre, Nattinen opened the scoring when he pounced on a loose puck in the slot and lifted it over the sprawling Marlies goaltender at 9:59 of the second period.
Brennan tied the game with a power-play marker, his team-leading 13th goal of the season, when his slapshot from the point beat a screened Tokarski at 12:20 of the third period.
"We failed to clear the puck twice and it came back to haunt us, but we stuck with it and we didn't panic," Lefebvre said. "We knew we had a good chance to win because we were controlling the play."
Hamilton was 0-for-7 on the power play while Toronto went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
The Marlies and Bulldogs complete their home-and-home series with a game in Hamilton on Friday.
"Today was a good win, tomorrow is another big game for us against the same team," Lefebvre said. "It's a good time to get on a streak. We'll take it one day at a time.