TORONTO -- Marlies coach Steve Spott called Sunday's 3-2 victory over the St. John's IceCaps a wake-up call.
The Marlies started slow and could've easily gone behind 2-0 if it wasn't for the solid play of goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who picked up his league-leading 13th win.
"I think as a coach sometimes, you come off of Friday night (a 4-1 win over Hamilton) and you praise your hockey club and you give them accolades on how hard they played and how hard they worked," Spott said. "Then they come in to a game like this today and they're like 'boy we're OK, we can just show up, put on our skates and play."'
David Broll picked up the winner as the Marlies (14-9-1) defeated the IceCaps (15-11-3) for the second time this season. With the loss, St. John's saw their three-game win streak snapped.
Carter Ashton and Brad Ross had the other goals for Toronto while Andrew Gordon and Brenden Kichton replied for St. John's.
"I said to our team after there's going to be games that we'll lose this year and I'll be OK with how we played, but there's going to be games we win where I won't feel too good and this was one of these games," Spott said.
With goaltender Eddie Pasquale missing his second straight game due to a groin injury, Michael Hutchinson made his debut for the IceCaps Saturday. Hutchinson went 13-2-2 in 17 games with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL prior to being recalled Friday.
Hutchinson made 17 saves in his first loss of the season while MacIntyre made 31 saves in the win.
"We were really bad. We're starting to realize the way that we have to play," said MacIntyre, who received the game puck from Spott for the first time this season. "We just have to be more consistent, not so much with our effort, but with our mental game. I think our mental game, we kind of think that we're a different team than we are."
Broll beat Hutchinson short side at 7:52 of the third for his second of the season and the eventual game-winner.
Gordon tied it 2-2 for St. John's at 5:55 of the third, beating MacIntyre with his 10th of the season.
Ashton, who was assigned to the Marlies on Saturday by the Leafs, gave Toronto a 2-1 lead, short-handed, at 1:49 of the third period, beating Hutchinson with a shot from the slot for his fourth of the season.
Ross got Toronto on the board, tying it 1-1, with 39 seconds remaining in the second, putting home the rebound off a T.J. Brennan point shot.
The IceCaps opened the scoring 5:04 into the second period as Kichton picked up his sixth of the season, beating Drew MacIntyre with a screened shot.
Kael Mouillierat had an excellent chance to give the IceCaps a 2-0 lead at 14:52 of the middle frame on a breakaway, but was robbed by the glove of MacIntyre.
"He made a nice move, he kind of took it and tried to change the angle," said MacIntyre. "That's such a tough play cause you don't know if he's going to come back. You can't take the bait totally. I was glad that I got my glove on it and that it didn't go on the ice because I kind of opened up."
Marlies leading point-getter, Spencer Abbott, left the game at 14:42 of the first period after being hit by IceCaps defenceman, Zach Redmond, and falling awkwardly into the boards. Abbott, who has 25 points in 23 games, was seen favouring his right leg as he was helped off the ice.
Spott would only call the injury a lower body one, saying Abbott would be re-evaluated.
Toronto concludes its pre-Christmas portion of the schedule with a three-game road trip beginning in Rochester on Wednesday.
St. John's has an 11-day break returning to the ice Dec. 27 in Worcester.