Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski, former University of Wisconsin defensemen, have been named to the 2006 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey team. The team will compete in Torino, Italy in February.
With the 2006 games, Chelios and forward Keith Tkachuk will become Team USA's first four-time Olympic hockey players. Chelios, at 44, will also become the third-oldest hockey player in Olympic history. He captained the U.S. team to a fifth-place finish in 1998 and a silver medal in 2002.
In 34 games this season with the Detroit Red Wings, Chelios has one goal, two assists, and a +5 rating. In 23 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit, Chelios has 917 points (179 goals, 738 assists) and a +312 rating.
Rafalski, in his sixth NHL season, all with the New Jersey Devils, has 222 career points (31 goals, 191 assists) and a +92 rating. He has one goal and 14 assists this season, with a -4 rating.
Rafalski also skated for the 2002 U.S. team.
Thomas receives All-America honor
Pro Football Weekly has named Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas a first-team All-American. Thomas was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten choice and a second-team All-American according to Sports Illustrated and the Walter Camp Foundation. He was, however, not included in the three Associated Press All-American football teams.
Men's hoops: UW up to No. 23 in coaches poll
The Wisconsin men's basketball team moved up one spot in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll to No. 23, after improving to 9-1 with wins over UW-Milwaukee and UNC Wilmington last week.
The Badgers are knocking on the door to the top 25 in the Associated Press rankings. UW's 121 points in the AP poll are second in the "receiving votes" category.
Wisconsin's next opponent is Louisiana Tech Dec. 28 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Men's hockey still No. 1
The Badger men's hockey team (14-2-2) remained No. 1 in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings, after a 6-5 exhibition win last week over the U.S. U-18 squad.
In addition to the Badgers and Gophers, the following WCHA teams are ranked: No.7/7 Colorado College (15-6-1), No. 10/9 North Dakota (12-7-1) and No. 13/12 Denver (11-7-2).
The USCHO.com women's hockey poll was last released Dec. 12, with St. Lawrence, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota making up the top five. The Badgers were No. 1 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll last week.