UMaine ice hockey player helps Danish team win first Olympic spot
Amalie Andersen said it hasn’t really leaked yet.
The University of Maine women’s ice hockey winger has just returned from Germany where she and her teammates became the first Danish team to qualify for the Winter Olympics last week.
They will be held in Beijing in February.
Denmark beat Italy 4-0 and Austria 1-0, then lost to host and favorite Germany 3-2 in a shootout. Germany lost to Austria, so based on the goal differential the Germans were going to have to beat Denmark by at least five goals to win the place.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than that,” said Andersen, a Danes defender. “It all came down to who wanted it the most and we really came together as a team. “
The 22-year-old didn’t score any points but felt she had played well.
She said her time at UMaine was beneficial, especially since they transferred her to a wing.
“It helped my offense and I’m hoping to bring more offense to my game as a defenseman at the Olympics,” said Andersen, who was due to return to the ice for the Black Bears game on Friday against Boston University. and on Sunday 2. afternoon morning against Providence.
Andersen won’t be UMaine’s only ice hockey player at the Olympics.
The Czech Republic also qualified last week and former Black Bear Vendula Pribylova played for the Czechs, who went 3-0 in their group, including a 5-1 Olympic victory over Hungary in the Czech Republic.
UMaine first-year forward Mira Sergeley played for Hungary.
UMaine’s all-time top scorer Tereza Vanisova also plays for the Czechs, but UMaine head coach Richard Reichenbach said Vanisova couldn’t play for the team because she had been suspended by her Swedish league for a check from behind.
The suspensions apply to international play.
Vanisova, who played for Boston Pride, winner of the Isobel Cup in the National Women’s Hockey League last season, is expected to compete in the Olympics for the Czech Republic.
Reichenbach also said second-year striker Rahel Enzler could end up on the Olympic list for Switzerland, which has already qualified.
Switzerland will be in Group A with the United States, Canada, Finland and the Russian Olympic Committee. The Danes and the Czechs will be in Group B with Sweden, Japan and China.
After the round robin, the teams from Group A and the top three teams from Group B will advance to the quarter-finals.
It will be held from February 3 to 17.
Andersen said she and her Danish teammates weren’t going there to “just smile” and have a good time.
“We want to win,” said Andersen.
His older brother, Frederik Andersen, is the goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League and is currently 10-2 with a 1.71 goals-against average and save percentage. 941. He has 405 regular season NHL games under his belt and the Danes also became their country’s first to qualify for the Olympics last summer.
“He texted me to congratulate me,” she said.