Slowed by injury, Gophers product Amanda Kessel expected to be healthy when Olympics begin

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 18, 2013 - 8:18 AM
hide

United States' Brianna Decker races to congratulate Amanda Kessel on her third-period goal against Canada in the gold-medal game at the women's world hockey championships in Ottawa, Ontario, Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

During a five-day training camp in Blaine, four members of the U.S. women’s hockey team got a chance to revisit their Minnesota connections. But a fifth player with local ties — Gophers forward Amanda Kessel — did not make the trip.

Kessel is continuing her rehabilitation from an undisclosed lower-body injury. While former and current Gophers Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper, Megan Bozek and Lee Stecklein practiced and worked out at the National Sports Center, Kessel stayed at the team’s base in Boston to work with USA Hockey’s athletic training staff. The camp ended Tuesday, and the team’s pre-Olympic tour continues Friday with an exhibition against Canada in Grand Forks, N.D.

Kessel has not played in any of the team’s seven games against international opponents this fall. She played in games against Boston-area boys’ teams, and U.S. coach Katey Stone said Kessel will “absolutely” be fully healthy by the time the Olympics begin in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 7.

“She’s got better resources right now [in Boston], and that’s why she’s there,” Stone said. “She’s doing great. She’s coming along well.”

Kessel is a key member of the national team. She scored the winning goal against Canada in the gold medal game of the 2013 world championships and finished the tournament with a team-high seven points. In three seasons with the national team, she has 23 goals and 45 assists in 42 games.

Coming cuts

The U.S. roster includes 23 players after defenseman Jincy Dunne and forward Kate Buesser were released earlier this month. Two more players will be cut to get to the final Olympic roster of 21, which will be announced on Jan. 1 during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic.

The U.S. men’s Olympic roster will be unveiled after that game.

The women’s team will retain goaltenders Jessie Vetter, Molly Schaus and Brianne McLaughlin. It has 12 forwards and eight defense­men, including former Gophers Bozek, Marvin (Warroad) and Schleper (St. Cloud) and Gophers sophomore Stecklein (Roseville). But Stone said that doesn’t mean the cuts will come from the defensive corps.

“Our options are open,” Stone said. “There is a lot of discussion. It will be the best 21 players.”

After Friday’s game, Stone will have two more chances to assess her players in competition. The U.S. will play Canada at Xcel Energy Center Dec. 28 and in Toronto Dec. 30.

D-lightful

Marvin, Schleper, Bozek and Stecklein attended Tuesday’s Wild-Vancouver game at Xcel Energy Center and delivered the “Let’s Play Hockey” chant before the puck dropped. All four women played for the U.S. in the 2013 world championships, and all but Marvin — a 2010 Olympian — are hoping to make the Olympic team for the first time.

Bozek has stood out during the team’s international schedule this fall, playing all seven games and leading the defense­men with eight points. Marvin has three goals and three assists in six games, while Schleper has one goal and one assist in six games. Stecklein has no points in four games.

“We have a strong, physical defensive corps, which I think is really important for the style of play we’re pursuing,” said Bozek, who helped lead the Gophers to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2012 and 2013. “We’re not sure how the 21 players are going to be picked. The way we approach it is that every day is a tryout.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close