NASHVILLE (GopherSports.com) – Gopher Hockey alum Phil Kessel and the Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions on Sunday night with a 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in Game Six.
Kessel’s 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) during this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs ranked third in the NHL behind teammates Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
A native of Madison, Wis., Kessel became the 10th Gopher Hockey alum to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup after helping the Penguins to the league championship in 2016 – his first season with Pittsburgh. He is now the first Gopher in program history to win two Stanley Cups as a player. University of Minnesota alum Bob Johnson is also on the Stanley Cup twice, guiding the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 1991 as head coach before being posthumously listed when Pittsburgh repeated in 1992.
Now in his 11th NHL season, Kessel has left his mark among Gopher Hockey’s NHL alumni. He ranks second in career playoff goals (31) and career playoff points (66), trailing fellow ‘U’ alum and 1995 Stanley Cup champion Neal Broten in both categories. His 35 career playoff assists trail Broten and Paul Martin.
Along with Kessel, Gophers alum Scott Bell helped the Penguins repeat as an amateur scout for the organization while former Gophers stick boy Jack Guentzel (son of Minnesota associate head coach Mike Guentzel) helped Pittsburgh to the 2017 Stanley Cup as a rookie. Guentzel’s 13 playoff goals led the NHL while his 21 playoff points ranked fourth in the league.
-Pride On Ice-
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