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Former Badger Rafalski named best defenseman at Olympics

VANCOUVER - Former Wisconsin hockey star Brian Rafalski was named the best defenseman of the Olympics by the tournament directorate.

That's after the U.S. lost the gold medal game to Canada yesterday 3-2 in overtime. Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning at 7:40 in the OT. All five Wisconsin players saw plenty of ice-time, but none figured in the scoring.

The others were Verona native Phil Kessel and ex-Badgers Ryan Suter and Joe Pavelski for the United States, and former Badger Dany Heatley for Canada. Rafalski and Zach Parise were the top U-S scorers in the Olympics with eight points apiece in six games. And both were named to the media's All-Star team, along with U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller - the tournament's MVP.

The 36-year-old Rafalski played for the Badgers from 1991-to-'95. He had two goals each in back-to-back contests during the Olympics. And he's not getting much time to reflect on his accomplishments. Rafalski plays for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings - who return to action tonight at Colorado.