Someone in the Kessel family is beginning to see why the Toronto Maple Leafs hate to use the word concussion when talking about a head injury. Amanda Kessel, Phil’s sister, will be missing the entire season with Minnesota due to lingering concussion symptoms.
The younger Kessel burst onto the international stage with her stellar play as a member of team USA during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The US women’s national team didn’t leave with the desire they wanted, but their silver medals and strong play help validate women’s hockey throughout the tournament.
“My number one priority is my health, and I hope that I’ll be able to return to the ice in the future. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and everyone at the University for their support.” ~ Amanda Kessel
Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight and Megan Bozek became household names for their efforts at the Olympics. However, just as people began to understand who the younger and female Kessel is, she’s forced to miss a year of hockey due to injuries sustained while playing with the US National Team.
Kessel stated that while she has played through numerous injuries before, this concussion has made her realize the importance of being 100% healthy while out on the ice and that is something she is not right now. Therefore, she’s hanging up her skates for the year until she is 100% healthy.
Both the University of Minnesota and Amanda Kessel were excited to see her back on the ice with the Gophers after she missed last season traveling with the Women’s National Team. She was set to enter he senior year with the Gophers having already recorded 231 points in 114 NCAA games and became just the fourth player in NCAA history to crack 100 points in a single season.
It’s believed she suffered the concussion during the lead up to the Olympic games given that she sat out several of team USA’s exhibition games. She was cleared by team doctors to compete at the Olympics and she showed no ill effects during the games as she finished tied for the team lead with three goals and six points.
With one of the fastest and most talented female hockey players in the country, the Gophers won back to back NCAA National Title in 2012 and 2013 and were poised to make another run with Kessel joining the likes of Patty Kazmaier, Hannah Brandt, standout goalie Amanda Leveille and defenseman Rachel Ramsey.
In a sport where checking is Illegal, Kessel becomes the third gophers player in the past four years to be held out due to long-term concussion symptoms, an injury that accounts for 25% of all injuries in womens hockey.
It’s a shame that Amanda Kessel will be held out this season as the world certainly would have been watching her and the Gophers with more interest following her showing in Sochi. The most important this is Amanda Kessel gets healthy and is back on the ice battling for team USA showing everyone that women are darn good at hockey.