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Penguins/Pittsburgh Prospects Continue to Shine at USA Evaluation Camp

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
There’s still one exhibition game left in the 2011 USA National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., but Penguins draft pick Kenneth Agostino (fifth round, 140th overall, 2010 NHL Draft) and four Pittsburgh-area natives have already left a good impression.

Kenneth Agostino scores against Finland on Aug. 8. (Getty Images)
Agostino and forwards Vince Trocheck (Upper St. Clair) and J.T. Miller (Coraopolis/E. Palestine, OH), defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum) and goaltender John Gibson (Whitehall) made the cut when U.S. trimmed its roster from 44 to 29 players on Tuesday.

The Americans, who had been divided into two teams (Blue and White) for the first four days of camp, have played as one unit since the roster cuts. They began a round-robin tournament with Sweden and Finland on Tuesday that will run through Saturday.

Agostino is currently the leading scorer for Team USA with eight points (2G-6A) through five games.

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He has been playing on a line with Trocheck, who has recorded three points in both of the USA’s round-robin tournament games thus far.

Trocheck scored the Americans’ only goal in a 4-1 loss to Sweden on Wednesday, assisted by Agostino. After netting the overtime game winner for USA Blue on Monday vs. Sweden, Trocheck then added a pair of assists in Team USA’s 4-1 win over Finland on Thursday.

Miller capped off the scoring with an empty-net goal against Finland on Thursday. He's scored a total of three goals this week.

The U.S. will face off with Sweden on Saturday at 1 p.m. EST to conclude the camp, where Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma is serving as an assistant coach.

The 29 camp participants are trying out for a spot on the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the World Junior Championships in December/January in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. The squad will be selected in late December following a pre-tournament camp to be held in Alberta.

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