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Lightning Retain Third Overall Pick

The NHL's draft lottery was tonight and the hockey gods weren't necessarily kind to the Lightning, but they weren't unkind, either.

Colorado won the lottery and will pick first overall, moving up from No. 2. The Lightning remain third in a draft that has three potential No. 1 picks: Portland defenseman Seth Jones, Halifax center Nathan MacKinnon, and Halifax winger Jonathan Drouin.

Drouin is the most skilled prospect in the draft, but Jones and MacKinnon both play more premier positions - especially Jones, who is a rare find nowadays. No. 1 defensemen as adept and fluid as he is at both ends of the ice don't come around very often. MacKinnon is a franchise center and with teams building from the net out and down the middle, he's a prized piece to most any roster.

NA Juniors Playoff Game Night: 4-29-13

Ontario Hockey League

(E2)Barrie Colts 3 @ (E1)Belleville Bulls 1
Barrie wins Best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals, 4-3

D Jake Dotchin, BAR: Did not play
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 1-4-5, +6, 25 PIM
Season totals: 66 GP, 4-18-22, E, 81 PIM
With Barrie: 28 GP, 2-6-8, -1, 42 PIM
With Owen Sound: 38 GP, 2-12-14, +1, 39 PIM

After losing Games 6 and 7, Barrie netted a 3-1 win in Game 7 to advance to the OHL Finals. Lightning prospect Jake Dotchin was suspended for the game for a checking-from-behind call in Game 6. Barrie will face London for the right to claim the OHL championship and advance to the Memorial Cup.

Crunch Win 4-2, Push Pirates to Brink


By Jeremy Houghtaling

It all started with the physical play.

Coming off a come-from-behind overtime win one night earlier, the Syracuse Crunch made a point to continue pounding the Portland Pirates.

It didn't take long -- less than 10 minutes -- for the results to show up on the scoreboard. Ondrej Palat's wrister beat Pirates goalie Chad Johnson, giving the Crunch an early lead.

"He's finishing checks and hammering guys, then he goes and scores the first goal for us," said Syracuse coach Rob Zettler of Palat.

Palat and Tyler Johnson each provided a goal and an assist, leading the Crunch to a 4-2 win over the Pirates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Onondaga County War Memorial Sunday. Syracuse leads the best-of-five series 2-0, with the teams meeting again in Portland Thursday.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4-28-13 Pirates at Crunch

Game Two goes according to plan.

POR-2
SYR-4

Syracuse Leads the Best-of-Five Series 2-0

Cedrick Desjardins allowed 2 goals on 20 shots for the victory. He looked much more solid tonight in net. The team needs him to play like that moving forward if they want to reach their ultimate goal.

First Period
SYR Palat, (1) (Johnson, Taormina), 9:33
SYR Brown, (1) (Angelidis, Wyman), 10:41

Second Period
SYR Johnson, (2) (Palat), 0:49 (SH)
SYR Connolly, (1) (Sexton, Devos), 14:36
POR Gormley, (1) (Shinnimin, Johnson), 16:50

Third Period
POR Johnson, (1) (Lessio, Gormley), 9:40

Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Matt Taormina were the game's three stars.

I continue to be extremely impressed by Palat. He's been the complete package through 2 games in this series. Just like last season, good things happen when the man has the puck. I was also impressed with Vladislav Namestnikov, who got a lot more ice time with Richard Panik getting kicked out after a secondary altercation. Portland tried targeting Namestnikov, and Vladdy rose to the challenge. He was feisty and he landed some good hits in the Third Period, to go along with his usual puckhandling and playmaking.

Game Three is Thursday in Portland. This is where Zettler's going to earn his big boy coaching pants. Portland's going to throw everything they have left at Syracuse in the First Period, and if Syracuse is complacent, bad things will happen. Playoffs are about attrition as much as anything, and if you have a chance to finish an opponent off, you do it. Anything that extends a series is another set of shifts where one of your key players can get hurt, so you have to finish the drill ASAP, and with Providence falling behind 2-0 in their series and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton up 2-0 in theirs, it's looking like a very good Pens team is lurking on the horizon. Syracuse wants to be healthy and rested for that potential opponent.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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