The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday morning that Amanda Kessel, the Patty Kazmaier Award winner in 2013 and US Olympian in 2014 will miss the 2014-15 season with lingering issues due to a concussion suffered while a member of the US National Team. While Kessel says in the statement that she hopes to get back on the ice at some point in the future, it is likely we have seen the last of Kessel in a Gopher uniform.
In Kessel’s first three seasons as a Gopher, she scored 97 goals and has 134 assists. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award after the 2012-13 season as the best player in all of women’s college hockey. She led the Gophers to an undefeated season and their fifth national championship that year. Kessel took a leave of absence last season from Minnesota to play on the US Olympic team that won the silver medal in Sochi. Kessel was expected back on the ice at Ridder Arena for her senior season with the Gophers this fall, but with today’s announcement that is now on hold.
Kessel is working with doctors from the Carrick Brain Center in Atlanta, GA, and together they have determined that dedicating all her time to her recovery is the prudent path at this point. It is possible that Kessel could return for her senior season in 2015-16 with the Gophers, but seeing that she will be two years past when the rest of her class graduated, it is not likely. If Kessel returns to the ice, it will most likely be as a member of the US National team.
We here at The Daily Gopher wish her well in her recovery, and hope that she recovers fully and will see seen on the ice very soon! The rest of the Gopher team will start their season beginning Friday October 3rd against Penn State at Ridder Arena.