Two former University of Maine women’s hockey players will take on the United States team in the quarterfinals of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Tereza Vanisova and Vendula Pribylova and their Czech Republic teammates will try to be giant-killers on Friday when they face off against the defending Olympic champions. Current Black Bear Rahel Enzler and her Switzerland team will take on the Russian Olympic Committee on Saturday.
The Czech Republic finished second in Group B after losing in a shootout to Japan, 3-2, on Tuesday. Sweden earned the third spot with a 3-1 Friday triumph over former Black Bear Michelle Weis, current UMaine player Amalie Andersen and their Danish team.
The top three finishers in Group B move on to the quarterfinals, as do all five teams in Group A.
Canada claimed the top spot in Group A and the No. 1 seed for the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win over the United States on Monday night.
Canada will face eighth seed Sweden on Friday night and No. 2 USA will take on No. 7 Czech Republic.
On Saturday, No. 3 Finland will take on No. 6 Japan and No. 4 Russian Olympic Committee will take on No. 5 Switzerland.
Russia beat Switzerland 5-2 in Group A round robin play on Feb. 4.
Vanisova picked up an assist in the shootout loss to Japan and has now registered a point in all four games. The UMaine career scoring leader with 129 points in 129 games was also among the Czech leaders in ice time with 23:55, second most on the team.
She is the Czech Republic’s leading scorer with two goals and three assists.
Pribylova did not get on the scoresheet but played 14:24. Pribylova is still looking for her first point in the Olympics.
Weis was among the Danish leaders in ice time against the Swedes with 22:53 but didn’t score. She concluded her Olympics with a goal and an assist. Andersen played 16:04 on Tuesday and saw significant ice time in all four games as a defenseman. She was held without a point.
Enzler is also without a point in the Olympics but has played in all four games for the Swiss.