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Miller scores pair in USA scrimmage

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Video: Miller at Rangers Development Camp

Rangers prospect J.T. Miller put on quite a show on Sunday afternoon in the second Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp at Lake Placid, N.Y.

Miller, the Blueshirts' first-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, scored two goals, including the game-winner, for Team White in leading his squad to a 4-2 win over Team Blue, which had won the first matchup on Saturday.

Playing on a line with fellow 2011 Florida Panthers draftee Rocco Grimaldi, a teammate of Miller's on the U.S. Under-18 Team last season, and Yale University sophomore Kenny Agostino, Miller helped the White team stretch an early 1-0 lead to 2-0 late in the first period and 3-0 midway through the second.

J.T. Miller
The Miller-Grimaldi-Agostino line dominated much of the game. All three are NHL prospects, with 19-year-old New Jersey native Agostino having been drafted by Pittsburgh in 2010.

Miller, who will be on the Rangers' prospect team that competes at Traverse City, Mich., next month, scored an even-strength goal against Blue netminder Andy Iles at 16:41 of the opening period off assists from linemates Grimaldiand Agostino to give Team White a 2-0 lead.

His second goal came on a power play at 8:45 of the second period -- just 12 seconds after the Blue team's Connor Brickley went off for boarding at 8:33. The goal, which gave Team Blue a commanding 3-0 lead and stood up as the winner, was assisted by Seth Jones and Justin Faulk.

Team Blue drew to within one goal midway through the third period, but goalie Stephen Michalek secured the win in net for Team White after having replaced starter John Gibson midway through the second period. White outshot Blue 31-28 for the game.

White drew the first power play of the game at 9:58 of the opening period, when defenseman Jared Tinordi went off for cross-checking. Grimaldi was able to cash in with 28 seconds remaining in the Tinordi penalty, when he scored on the power play from Derek Forbort and Holl at the 11:30 mark.

Miller then struck twice to essentially put the game out of reach through two periods.

Shane McColgan
Blue cut the lead to 3-1 at the 6:00 mark when Kevin Hayes scored off an assist from Austin Watson. Blue then made it a 3-2 game when T.J. Tynan scored at 9:56 of the third. That was as close as Team Blue would come.

Miller's linemate Agostino closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:28 of the third period, giving Team White its 4-2 win.

After an overtime period failed to resolve the split of the first two games, Sunday's Blue-White game ended with an exhibition shootout, where another Rangers prospect managed to shine. Shane McColgan, who was also playing on Team White, was the only player to score in the shootout. McColgan was the Blueshirts' fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Miller, McColgan, and Team White will face Finland in an international matchup on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, Team USA's camp will be cut down to roughly 28 players who will remain on the squad for additional games against Finland and Sweden.

The camp will help determine the makeup of the 2012 U.S. World Junior Championship team. Miller is coming off a big performance in which he led Team USA in scoring at the 2011 Under-18 Championships.
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