Bound for Russia

Jason Malloy
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Talk about a spring break.
Anja Weisser is going to the Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia. The fourth-year defenceman with the UPEI Panthers was on the German roster released on Wednesday.
"It's going to be exciting," Weisser told The Guardian. "Not everybody gets the opportunity."
Weisser recently participated in a tournament where the final roster spots were determined.

"It was pretty stressful," she said. "We had a lot of back-to-back games and practices."

The Kaufbeuren native was attending an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) development camp in Finland in 2008 when she met Kaitlin Murray of Kinkora. After the camp, Weisser asked if there were universities she would recommend. Murray suggested the University of Prince Edward Island and the rest is history.

"We're very proud of her," Panthers coach Bruce Donaldson said. "It's a great accomplishment for her to get an opportunity to participate in the Olympics."

Weiser, 22, has two goals and an assist in 15 games this season with the Panthers.

"Her team piece comes first. She is not really one to look for the personal accolades," Donaldson said. "She's very methodical in her thinking. She has a very calm sense about her. She doesn't panic."

Germany did not qualify for the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

This time around they are n Group B with Japan, Russia and Sweden. They open the tournament against the hosts on Feb. 9.

There are two tiers for this year's Olympics. All four Group A teams and the top two teams from Group B advance to the second round.

Weisser has four games remaining with the Panthers before leaving for the Olympics. She will be gone for the month of February but could rejoin her Panthers teammates for a second-round playoff series.

UPEI is currently battling for a playoff spot.

"The next four games we have her in the lineup are key in order to secure points," Donaldson said.

The Panthers host Moncton Friday at 7 p.m.

The coach said the blue-liner brings a lot of character to the team.

"She has embraced the Island, Charlottetown and the school immensely," he said. "She is going to represent us, herself and Germany very well."

Organizations: Panthers, International Ice Hockey Federation, University of Prince Edward Island

Geographic location: Russia, Kaufbeuren, Germany Finland Japan Sweden Moncton Charlottetown

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