Amanda Kessel returns to Gophers hockey, free of concussion symptoms

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Amanda Kessel has officially returned to the Gophers women’s hockey team for the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Last July, the Gophers announced the two-time All-American would miss her entire senior season due to concussion-related issues, but Kessel recently returned to the ice and is will rejoin the Minnesota lineup.

On her first game back on the ice, Kessel helped the No. 3 Gophers defeat the No. 8 North Dakota 3-0. They will play again Saturday at 4 p.m.

“I’m so happy to be playing hockey again,” Kessel said Wednesday. “I’m not suffering from any concussion symptoms, and I’ve been evaluated by a number of physicians who have cleared me to play. I feel great, and I'm looking forward to being back on the ice with my teammates on game day. Sometimes difficult things happen in life, and they only make you stronger. It was extremely challenging, but I did everything I could to get healthy. I’m grateful for everyone who helped and supported me throughout the difficult times. I wouldn't be in this position without them. I cannot wait to be back out there doing what I love to do while representing the University of Minnesota.”

“We're excited to have Amanda returning to the lineup," Gophers head coach Brad Frost said. "Her recovery and overall health have always been most important, and we weren't sure if she would have the opportunity to play college hockey again. Knowing that Amanda and the team of doctors working with her have determined she is healthy and ready to resume playing is certainly great news. She has always been a part of our program, and we're happy she has a chance to finish out her college career on the ice along with completing her coursework and getting her degree this spring.”

Kessel’s career accomplishments

During the 2012-13 season, Amanda Kessel led the nation in scoring with a career-high 101 points en route to winning the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which honors the top women’s hockey player in the NCAA.

Kessel has appeared in 114 career games for Minnesota from 2010-11 to 2012-13. She ranks No. 5 in Gophers history with 231 career points, tied for 5th with 97 career goals, and ranks 3rd with 134 career assists.

Next Gophers game

The No. 3 Gophers play No. 8 North Dakota at Ridder Arena 4 p.m. Saturday.