TORONTO -- Drew MacIntyre is making the most of his opportunity with the Toronto Marlies.
The 29-year-old made 23 stops, including a spectacular save on a breakaway late in the second period, to lead Toronto to a 2-1 victory over the Lake Erie Monsters in American Hockey League action on Wednesday.
"He was excellent tonight," Marlies coach Dallas Eakins said of his goalie. "He made some huge saves, especially on the break coming out of the penalty box. He made that save look extremely easy. When your goalie is making saves like that look easy, you know he's playing with great confidence."
MacIntyre robbed Monsters centre Mike Sgarbossa -- who had just stepped out of the penalty box -- as the Marlies clung to a 1-0 lead.
"He made a nice move, I'm just thankful I didn't bite," MacIntyre said. "And I think once I didn't bite he thought, 'Well, OK, I've got to shoot it.' I like the way I played it."
MacIntyre, a native of Charlottetown, who signed an AHL contract with the Marlies two weeks ago, has won four of his past five starts and is 5-2-1 overall.
"We've had a lot of good games since I've been here," he said. "We've had a couple nights where we laid an egg, but for the most part we've been pretty awesome since I've been here and tonight was one of the best."
Joe Colborne scored the winning goal midway through the third period to deliver the victory for Toronto. Colborne one-timed a shot from the slot past Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard at 7:54 of the final frame, just 33 seconds after Lake Erie's Geoff Walker had tied the game.
"You're never happy to give up a goal in the third period, so for Joe to score right after that was great," MacIntyre said.
Mike Zigomanis also scored for Toronto -- and set up Colborne's winner with a nice pass from behind the Monsters' net - in front of 7,144 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
"It was a good breakout and we had a couple good chances before Joe put it in," Zigomanis said. "It was nice to get the lead back."
It was the second win a row for the Marlies, who improved to 32-20-6 and maintained their hold on first place in the North Division.
"We played a scrappy game," Eakins said. "You need everybody pulling the same way on the rope and the guys certainly did that tonight and we've got to learn to win more games like that. They tied it up fairly late in the game and we came right back next shift and pushed back."
The Monsters have lost three straight games -- and seven of their past nine -- to fall to 27-26-9 and drop out of a playoff position in the West. Pickard blocked 28 of 30 shots in a losing effort.
Zigomanis opened the scoring when he curled out from behind the Monsters net and whipped a backhander past a surprised Pickard at 9:23 of the second period. Marlies defenceman Ryan Grimshaw had an assist on the play for his first career AHL point.
"We had good traffic down low and I was just trying to put it up and got lucky," Zigomanis said.
Walker tied it for Lake Erie when he whacked the puck past MacIntyre during a goalmouth scramble at 7:21, but Colborne restored the lead for Toronto 33 seconds later.
"It was a playoff atmosphere out there and these were huge points for us," Eakins said. "To a man, it was one of our better team efforts. Our guys were ready for it tonight ... they were ready for it."
Notes: Toronto was 0-for-6 on the power play, while Lake Erie went 0-for-3. ... The Marlies host the Rochester Americans on Saturday and then travel to Lake Erie for back-to-back games on Sunday and Tuesday.