Ex-Badgers Part of U.S. Hockey HOF Class

By KBJR News 1

Credit: City of Eveleth

Ex-Badgers Part of U.S. Hockey HOF Class

August 6, 2014 Updated Aug 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A former head coach and a former player at the University of Wisconsin are among the four people set to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014, it was announced on Wednesday morning.

Jeff Sauer and Brian Rafalski, who coached and played for the Badgers respectively, join two-time Olympian Karyn Bye Dietz and longtime coach Lou Vairo as this year's inductees to the Hall of Fame located in Eveleth, Minn.

Sauer coached the Badgers for 20 seasons, qualifying for 12 NCAA Division I tournaments and winning NCAA Division I championships in both 1983 and 1990. He also coached 11 seasons at Colorado College.

Rafalski, meanwhile, played at Wisconsin for four seasons and totaled 20 goals and 98 points in 146 games. He then went on to 11 seasons in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003 with New Jersey and then again in 2008 with Detroit.

In his 11 seasons, Rafalski amassed 515 points that still rank as 10th-most among American-born defensemen. He also represented the United States in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Bye Dietz also has experience with the national team, having played for the United States from 1992-2002. In that time, she helped the Americans win a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Games and a silver medal in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Vairo, meanwhile, has been an influential player in USA Hockey since the 1960s, most notably as a scout and coach of the men's national team. He was a scout for the gold medal-winning 1980 team in Lake Placid, N.Y., and then he was head coach of the 1984 team before serving as an assistant coach on the silver medal-winning 2002 team.

The Class of 2014 will be officially inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 4 in either Minneapolis, Minn. or St. Paul, Minn., with specific details to be discussed in the coming weeks.

Posted by Zach Schneider
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