TORONTO - Joe Colborne is making Toronto Maple Leafs' management take notice.
Colborne had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Marlies won their home opener 5-3 over the Lake Erie Monsters in American Hockey League action Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.
After being cut from the big club during training camp in September, Colborne has three goals and two assists in the Marlies' first three games.
"I'd be feeling better if I was playing with the Leafs right now," said Colborne, who was drafted 16th overall by Boston in 2008 before being traded to Toronto in February. "But I have a great opportunity here to learn from, if not with the best coach in the American Hockey League then one of the best in Dallas.
"We got great bunch of older guys, including (Mike Zigomanis), and I'm trying to take more of a leadership role, too."
Simon Gysbers, Mike Zigomanis, Luca Caputi and Marcel Mueller scored the other goals for the Marlies. Ben Scrivens stopped 26 shots in goal for the win.
Luke Walker, David van der Gulik and Justin Mercier replied for the Monsters. Trevor Cann took the loss in net making 18 saves.
Colborne's two points continued the centre's hot streak to start the season. He has three goals and five points in Toronto's three games.
Toronto is now 2-1-0 to start the 2011-12 campaign. The Marlies won their first game of the season on Oct. 8 in Binghamton, beating the Calder Cup-champion Senators 3-2, but fell to Grand Rapids by the same score on Friday.
Lake Erie (0-4-0) opened the scoring 4:05 into the game. On a delayed penalty call, Walker took a shot from the slot that handcuffed Scrivens and snuck past the Marlies' goaltender.
Toronto made 1-1 at 13:02. Colborne took a pass from Joey Crabb, skated wide around a Monsters' defenceman and roofed a perfect backhand shot over the glove of Cann for his third goal of the season.
Gysbers then put Toronto ahead just over three minutes later when his wrist shot from the point found its way through a maze of players past Cann.
But Lake Erie tied it 2-2 with less than a minute to play in the period, when van der Gulik picked up a loose puck in the crease and tucked it around Scrivens who couldn't control the rebound.
Scrivens, who's started all three Marlies' games ahead of Finnish goalie Jussi Rynnas, let in three goals, all of the awkward variety.
"It happens sometimes," Scrivens said. "You're going to have ones that hit you and go out and you're going to have ones that hit you and go in."
"I thought I was in good position for the most part. You're not going to get a shutout every game."
Toronto went ahead 3-2 with a power-play goal at 13:54 of the second period. The Marlies worked the puck around the perimeter until Marcel Mueller dished to Zigomanis who snapped a shot from the slot past Cann.
About a minute later, Caputi streaked down the right side and snapped a shot by Cann's blocker hand for his first of the season to give Toronto a two-goal lead.
Mueller added an empty-netter at 17:09 of the third period after the Monsters pulled their goalie early.
Mercier scored for the Monsters with 35 seconds left to round out the scoring.
The Marlies went 1-for-4 on the power play. The Monsters were 0-for-6.
It was a chippy affair between the two clubs with eight fighting majors on the evening, and Toronto's Darryl Boyce right in the middle of it with two fights.
The two teams go right back at it again Sunday at Ricoh. In fact, Toronto plays Lake Erie five times in its next seven games.
Notes: Toronto had the best penalty kill in the AHL last season ... Ryan Hamilton was named the Marlies' new captain after Alex Foster left to play in the Czech Republic ... Announced attendance was 6,084.