Fresh off an overtime game-winner that gave the Toronto Six their first Premier Hockey Federation Isobel Cup championship, Tereza Vanisova is ready to hit the ice again — this time to compete for her native Czechia.
Vanisova is one of six former or current University of Maine women’s ice hockey players participating in the annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship beginning Wednesday in Brampton, Ontario.
The 27-year-old Vanisova, whose OT winner beat the Minnesota Whitecaps 4-3 at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona, will be playing for Czechia along with her former UMaine teammate Vendula Pribylova.
Current Black Bears Mira Seregely and Rahel Enzler will be representing Hungary and Switzerland, respectively, and the Welcke twins, Luisa and Lilli, will be lacing their skates up for Germany.
The Welckes were freshmen at UMaine this past season but have entered the NCAA transfer portal. They were chosen to the Hockey East All-Rookie team.
The women’s world championships will feature 10 teams in two five-team pools for round robin play before the quarterfinals, semifinals and title game.
All five teams in the A pool will advance to the quarterfinals along with the top three finishers in the B pool.
The A pool includes the United States, Canada, Czechia, Switzerland and Japan, while the B pool consists of Finland, Hungary, Sweden, Germany and France.
France and Finland opens the tourney at the CAA Centre in Brampton on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET followed by the USA-Japan game at 3 p.m. and the Canada-Switzerland game at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Germany and Sweden square off at 11 a.m. in their first games of the tourney, while Czechia makes its debut against Japan at 3 p.m. and Hungary plays its first game against France at 7 p.m.
Vanisova, UMaine’s all-time leading scorer with 129 points (63 goals, 66 assists in 129 games), had 5 goals and 9 assists in 20 regular season games for Toronto this season before notching a goal and an assist in four playoff games.
The 27-year-old Pribylova had 11 goals and 11 assists in 37 games including the regular season and the playoffs for MoDo of the Swedish pro league this season. She had 21 goals and 39 assists in 129 career games at UMaine.
Seregely, the youngest of the contingent at 19 and a sophomore at UMaine, was the Black Bears’ top point-getter this season with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points. She now has 16-20-36 in 67 games spanning two seasons.
The 22-year-old Enzler had 2-9-11 in 29 games for the Black Bears this season and the junior has 5-18-23 in 68 career games.
Luisa Welcke, who is 20, was UMaine’s second-leading scorer with 8-14-22 in 33 games, and Lilli was tied for third with Alyssa Wruble with 21 points on 6 goals and a team-leading 15 assists. Wruble had 12-9-21.