In a game where the Marlies controlled the scoreboard, Admirals defenceman Ville Koistinen scored the shootout winner and goalie Karl Goehring made 42 saves for visiting Milwaukee as they rallied back to down the Toronto 4-3 in American Hockey League action on Sunday.
"We don't know how to play with the lead," said Marlies coach Greg Gilbert, whose club led 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 midway through the third. "We start playing as individuals, trying high-risk plays. We're our own worst enemy at times."
Defenceman Kevin Klein, right-winger Rich Peverley and centre Jason Guerriero scored in regulation time for Milwaukee. Peverley and Guerriero, who also scored in the shootout, each added a helper, while Koistinen had two assists.
The Admirals beat Toronto goalie Jean-Francois Racine on two of four attempts in the shootout, while the Marlies could only get one of five shots past Goehring.
Forwards Martin Sagat, with his first goal of the season, and Jeff Corey and Colin Murphy scored for the Marlies in front of 3,861 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
Centre Kris Newbury collected two assists. Murphy was the lone Marlie to score in the shootout.
The Admirals improved to 9-11-2 on the season, while the
Marlies fell to 9-11-4.
"We can't get satisfied or complacent when we have the lead," Gilbert said. "We can't be concerned with personal stats."
Racine stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced in the Marlies' net, but it was Goehring who kept his team in the game in the first period, when Toronto threatened to rout the Admirals.
The Marlies led 2-0 after the first - and dominated the frame, outshooting Milwaukee 19-2 - before the Admirals rallied to tie the game 2-2 after 40 minutes.
The Marlies went 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Admirals went 2-for-8 with the man advantage.
Toronto opened the scoring at 8:30 of the first period, on a play that started with Newbury bulldozing over Klein in the corner and picking up the loose puck behind the net. Newbury then centred a pass to Sagat, who beat Goehring with a one-timer on the stick side. The Marlies made it 2-0 at 16:45 when defenceman Chris Harrington intercepted a clearing attempt and a dropped a pass to Corey in the slot. The right winger snapped a high wrist shot past Goehring
Milwaukee picked up its play in the middle frame with Klein putting the Admirals on the scoreboard when he corralled a rebound in the slot and wired a wrist shot over Racine's shoulder at 16:59. Peverley made it 2-2 at 18:55 on a pass by Guerriero that found Klein in the high slot, where the defender was able to walk in, deke, and beat Racine with a low wrist shot.
The teams traded power-play goals in the third period, with Murphy giving the Marlies a 3-2 lead at 7:23 when he appeared to kick the puck past Goehring after his initial shot was stopped. The goal was reviewed, but stood up.
The lead was short-lived, as Guerriero was able to chip the puck over Racine during a goalmouth scramble at 10:08.
Overtime settled nothing, with Goehring making a couple of big saves, while the Admirals killed off a holding penalty to defenceman Nolan Yonkman.
The Marlies are off until Wednesday, when they host their provincial and North Division rival, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Notes: The Marlies were without several regulars due to injuries, including blue-liners Brad Brown, Dominic D'Amour and Tyson Marsh and forwards Jeremy Williams, Ben Ondrus, and Brad Leeb ... Defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo, a healthy scratch in Saturday's game against Syracuse, dressed and played a regular shift ... The game was Milwaukee's eighth consecutive on the road, as the Admirals continue a franchise-record 10 straight games away from home. They're 4-4-0 with two game remaining.