Jan. 23, 2013
For the second consecutive week, University of Minnesota junior Amanda Kessel has been named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week. The forward compiled seven points (3g-4a) in a weekend sweep of Minnesota State, while also becoming the 24th player in NCAA women's hockey history to surpass the 200 career-point milestone.
Kessel netted a natural hat trick, including a shorthander, and tallied an assist in the Gophers' 6-1 win over the Mavericks in the first game of the series. The hat trick was her fourth of the season and ninth of her career. The Madison, Wis. native entered the second game of the series just two points shy of the 200-point mark, but she recorded a quartet of assists to surpass the milestone. Her first assist was to Milica McMillen on a power play in the first period. Her second assist of the game and 200th career point came on a Hannah Brandt goal in the second period. She became only the ninth player to reach the 200-point milestone in just three seasons.
This is Kessel's fourth Offensive Player of the Week honor this season (Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Jan. 16) and the eighth of her career.
The right winger not only leads the team and the WCHA but also the nation with 71 points (34g-37a) in 23 games. She is currently on pace to rival former Gopher Natalie Darwitz's NCAA record of 114 points in a single season.
Kessel will guide the Gophers into her hometown this weekend as they head to Madison, Wis. to face rival Wisconsin. Minnesota looks to take sole possession of the NCAA unbeaten streak, which they share with the Badgers at 32 games, with a win or a tie. Games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on both Friday and Sunday.