Miller, Rafalski power U.S. past Canada at Olympics
Goaltender Ryan Miller, who played in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Soo Indians from 1997-99, made 42 saves and defenseman Brian Rafalski, formerly of the NAHL’s Melvindale (Mich.) Blades, tallied two goals and an assist as the U.S. Olympic Team downed Canada, 5-3, today (Sunday, February 21) in its third game of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
"It was an excellent atmosphere tonight and we anticipated a hostile environment," said Team USA head coach Ron Wilson. "There was a lot of intensity in the game with some great plays and fantastic goaltending. After the second period, we had to tighten our play. The players responded very well in the third and played to win."
Miller earned victories over Norway (10 saves) and Switzerland (14) in Team USA’s first two Olympic games.
Forward Ryan Kesler, who played in the NAHL as a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program, also scored against Canada.
Forward Joe Pavelski, part owner of the Janesville Jets, is also competing on the U.S. Olympic Team.
The United States, which secured at least the second seed among the 12 teams competing at the Olympics following the preliminary round, will play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (February 24).
Ten former NAHL players are competing on this year’s U.S. Olympic Team.