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Next stop for Thomas is Traverse City

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
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Rangers prospect Christian Thomas wrapped up his stay at the Hockey Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp on Sunday night by participating in the camp's second and final Red-White game at the Casman Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thomas, whose Team White squad had rallied to beat Team Red less than 24 hours earlier at Edmonton, came out on the losing side of the game on Sunday, as Team Red broke out to a 4-0 lead and routed Team White 8-2.

Thomas ended the two-game series with one goal that should go a long way toward helping him make Team Canada for the 2012 World Junior Championship tournament in Edmonton and Calgary. The team will be announced in December.

Christian Thomas
Just over a month from now, Thomas will be back on the ice with the Rangers prospects at Traverse City, Mich., as part of the four-game prospects tournament that will be televised live on MSG. He will then take part in the Rangers' main training camp.

Although he did not figure into the scoring for Team White on Sunday, Thomas had a few prime chances while playing the first 40 minutes on a line with Sean Couturier and Quinton Howden and the final period with Couturier and Jaden Schwartz.

Thomas nearly scored just under 30 seconds into the second period when he was denied in-close by Team Red goalie Louis Domingue. He had another scoring chance at 4:20 of the second oeruid, when he rifled a shot from the slot that required a tough save by Domingue. The play came under havy pressure from Thomas line, with the Rangers' 2010 second-rounder the catalyst for much of it.

Late in the period, as the first of two back-to-back White power plays was expiring, Visentin robbed Thomas' shot from the slot

Thomas was used in all situations by head coach Don Hay on Sunday, as he was on the first power-play unit and also killed penalties.

Team Red scored first as Jonathan Huberdeau's hard wrist shot at White goalie Tyler Bunz hit the netminder, popped into the air, and was pushed over the goal line by Jonathan Huberdeau just 1:07 into the opening period.

Red went up 2-0 on a power play at 9:17 of the first period while Thomas and Oshawa General teammate Boone Jenner were out killing a penalty. Red's Mark Stone picked up his second point of the night when he scored while diving to pick up the rebound of a wide shot by defenseman Erik Gudbranson who had missed the net to Bunz's right.

Team Red held its 2-0 lead through the end of the first period.

Red stretched the lead to 3-0 on Huberdeau's second goal of the night from just outside the crease at 8:11 of the second period. Only seconds later, it was a 4-0 lead, as Ryan Johansen beat Bunz with a high shot from the left faceoff circle at 8:24. Stone, an Ottawa Senators prospect, earned his third and fourth points of the night with assists on both goals.

Team White finally got on the board shortly after Mark Visentin came in to relieve Domingue midway through the second period. Defenseman Matt Pettgrave scored to cut the Red lead to 4-1 with a blast from between the top of the circles. Unfortunately, the three-goal deficit lasted only 12 seconds before Team Red's Michael Bournival made it 5-1 at 10:18

The White squad came back to cut the lead to 5-2 on a 2-on-0 late in the second period. Ty Rattie fed Phillip Danault at 14:15, and Danault beat Visentin as he crashed the net.

Stone got his second goal of the game and fifth point of the night when he knocked the puck into the net from mid-air at 4:20 of the third period to make it 6-2. Patrick Holland added to the rout with a goal at 16:51 of the third as Team Red went up 7-2, and then Sgarbosa scored off the rush, converting a pass from Huberdeau at 17:39.
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