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Kozun scores winner as Marlies edge Monsters in shootout

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TORONTO - Brandon Kozun called it a pretty good weekend as the Toronto Marlies concluded a three-game, three-night stretch picking up four out of a possible six points.

Kozun and Spencer Abbott both scored in the shootout as the Marlies edged the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.

It was the first three-game, three-night stretch for the Marlies, who will play a total of seven such sets this season.

"Any time you can do that, you're pretty happy with it. Obviously there's improvements that can be made," said Kozun, who was playing in just his third game with Toronto after being acquired from the Manchester Monarchs on Jan. 22.

Kozun was dealt from the Los Angeles Kings organization in exchange for Andrew Crescenzi. The 2009 sixth-round draft pick was immediately thrown in to action two nights later with the Marlies.

"I'm just trying to fit in, get comfortable and see where it goes," said Kozun. "Just try to get acclimated to the guys. Systems are a little bit different. In Manchester we played a little bit of a different style than we did here, but I'm right around the puck, I'm working hard and waiting for it."

Kozun faked to the forehand and beat Monsters starter, Calvin Pickard, blocker-side in the second round for the winner.

Drew MacIntyre stopped all four shooters he faced in the shootout and turned aside 28 shots for his 20th win of the season. Pickard made 29 saves in the loss.

Stuart Percy and Jamie Devane scored in regulation for the Marlies to force overtime.

Andrew Agozzino and Cam Reid had the goals for the Monsters (17-20-4).

"For us it was a test of, not only physical toughness, but mental toughness, because it is new territory for our guys," said Marlies coach Steve Spott. "It is not only three in three, we just came off a six-game road trip previous to that so it's been tough, it's been a lot of hockey lately."

The loss was Lake Erie's eighth straight loss. The Toronto win evened the season series at two games apiece.

Lake Erie opened a 2-0 lead with goals five minutes apart in the first period.

Agozzino opened the scoring at 10:09 of the first, on a power play, re-directing a Karl Stollery point shot past MacIntyre for his 10th of the season.

Then at 15:06, Reid gave the Monsters a 2-0 lead tipping a bouncing puck past MacIntyre for his second of the season.

Toronto cut Lake Erie's lead in half at 18:12 of the first when Percy stepped into a shot off a face-off beating Pickard for his first of the season.

Devane completed the comeback after getting his stick on a T.J. Brennan point shot, re-directing it past Pickard at 2:52 of the third.

Sam Carrick had an excellent chance to give Toronto their first lead, on a power play, with 5:30 remaining, but Pickard got across with his shoulder to rob him of the chance

The Marlies now head out on the road for three games in three nights beginning Thursday in Oklahoma City.

Notes: Lake Erie forward Guillaume Desbiens missed Sunday's game serving a one-game suspension for instigating a fight in the final five minutes of the Monsters' 6-2 loss to Hamilton Saturday night.

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