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Colborne scores in debut as Marlies beat Griffins

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The Canadian Press
2/19/2011 6:14:29 PM
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TORONTO -- Joe Colborne gave Toronto hockey fans an idea of what they're getting in return for Tomas Kaberle.

Colborne scored in regulation before registering a highlight-reel shootout goal in his Marlies debut as Toronto defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-3 in American Hockey League action Saturday afternoon.

Mike Zigomanis had the shootout winner while Nazem Kadri and Greg Scott also scored in regulation for Toronto.

Colborne was acquired from the Boston Bruins on Friday in the Kaberle deal. The 21-year-old had been playing for the Providence Bruins, registering 12 goals and 26 points in 55 games.

The game Saturday capped a wild two days for Colborne.

"I've had more calls from the media than I ever had in Boston," Colborne said. "Yesterday, I came off the ice and had 40 text messages asking if the rumours were true and I had no idea what was going on.

"Four hours later, I was on a plane here."

On Saturday, Colborne took the opening faceoff and centred a line between Jeff Cowan and Fabian Brunnstrom.

"There were some nerves in the first few shifts there just because it's pretty neat putting on the blue and white," he said. "My dad is a huge fan.

"He was in the stands and I'm sure he's pretty proud right now."

Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins wasn't shy about giving Colborne some prominent ice time, including on the power play and in the shootout.

"If he wasn't playing that well, I wouldn't have done it," Eakins said. "I gave him a chance early to get going and he showed that he was ready.

"As the game went on, he just seemed to get better and better so I just kept pushing him harder and harder. When it got to the shootout, he showed he had pretty good hands . . . so we threw him in the mix and he came up with something fairly nice for everyone to look at."

Andrew Engelage, who signed a tryout contract Friday, started in goal for Toronto and made 25 saves.

"There's nothing better than coming in for your first game and getting the two points," Engelage said. "(Eakins) said, 'Just be ready and show them what you can do.' "

Engelage had been playing for the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, posting an 18-10-4 record, 2.56 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. He appeared in 10 games for the Marlies last season, going 2-6-0 with a 4.27 GAA.

"I thought he played a great game for us, coming in cold after travelling all day with no practise and we throw him right in there, " Eakins said. "I'm real proud of the way he played."

Chris Minard, Cory Emmerton and Tomas Tatar had the goals for the Griffins. Jordan Pearce stopped 26 shots in the loss.

The win moved the Marlies (28-23-7) seven points ahead of the Griffins (24-24-9) in the North Division. Toronto came into the game tied for fourth with the Abbotsford Heat, just five points behind the first-place Lake Erie Monsters.

Toronto is 1-1 on its current eight-game homestand. The Marlies play 19 of their final 24 games at Ricoh.

The Marlies' next game is against the San Antonio Rampage Monday.

NOTES -- Toronto also signed goaltender David Brown to tryout contract Friday . . . Announced attendance was 5,077.

Toronto Marlies (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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