Former Gophers star Amanda Kessel has resumed skating, while continuing to recover from concussion issues, and could return to the team this season, coach Brad Frost acknowledged Tuesday.
Kessel, 24, has been taking classes at the university, working toward her degree. She has one year of NCAA eligibility remaining, but this is the final season she can use it.
“She had a great [fall] semester academically, and you may see her around the rink now, as she is skating a little bit and testing the waters and progressing in her rehab,” Frost told reporters.
Kessel helped lead the Gophers to NCAA titles as a sophomore and junior, with 80 and 101 points, respectively. She won the Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the nation’s top player, in 2013, when she scored 46 goals, helping the Gophers finish 41-0.
“Amanda was the best player in the world when she played here last,” Frost said. “So it’s one of those things where we have always wanted her to get as healthy as possible, and that’s the continued hope for her.”
Kessel suffered a concussion while playing for Team USA in the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics but was cleared medically to play in the Sochi Games.
She had planned on returning to the Gophers that fall but wasn’t able to do so because her concussion symptoms lingered.
The Gophers have 12 regular-season games left.
• Taylor Williamson of the Gophers was named the WCHA’s rookie of the week. She had a goal and two assists in Minnesota’s home sweep of Ohio State.
University of St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso, who led his team to a national title game, was named the Division III coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association. It’s the second time in four years that he has received that award, voted on by his peers.
Caruso’s has an 87-14 record in eight seasons at St. Thomas, and his teams have lost twice to Mount Union in the national championship game.
• Jacksonville State coach John Grass, whose team lost to North Dakota State in the FCS title game, won the award in his division.
• MIAC baseball coaches and administrators have voted to move the four-team, double-elimination baseball tournament from Minnetonka’s Veterans Field, where it hs been held the past five years, to St. John’s new all-turf field.
• Alpine skier Paula Moltzan of Lakeville earned her first points on the World Cup circuit, finishing 25th in a night slalom at Flachau, Austria. Moltzan, a Buck Hill Ski Team alumna, was making her 14th World Cup start.