June 26, 2013The Big Ten Network announced Wednesday night on the sixth annual BTN Awards Show that University of Minnesota women's hockey standout Amanda Kessel was voted Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. The junior forward led the nation in scoring and helped guide the Golden Gophers to their second consecutive National Championship.
Kessel put together a junior campaign for the record books as tallied 101 points (46g-55a) to become only the fourth player in NCAA history to reach the century mark in a season. The junior forward battled nagging injuries all season but played in 37 games averaging 2.66 points per game and finished with 28 multi-point games. Midway through the year, Kessel became the 24th player in NCAA history to surpass 200 career points and only the ninth to do so in three seasons.
The Madison, Wis. native is only the second female athlete from Minnesota to receive this award joining former Gopher swimmer Gretchen Hegener earning the accolade in 1997. Kessel is one-of-six Gophers, men or women, to garner this prestigious award.
On the international stage, the United States Women's National team member helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. At the Championships, she scored the game-winning goal in the gold-medal game to aid the U.S. in securing its fourth gold medal in five world championship appearances. Kessel was named the U.S. Player of the Game and earned recognition as one of the top three American players in the tournament.
Additional awards that Kessel has garnered this season include: USA Hockey's Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year, Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, First Team All-America, USCHO Co-Player of the Year, First Team All-USCHO, WCHA Player of the Year, WCHA Scoring Champion, NCAA All-Tournament Team and WCHA All-Academic Team.
Kessel was recently named to the U.S. Women's National Team for the upcoming season. She and 25 other American players will be vying for a spot on the 21-player roster that will compete at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. She will receive an Olympic redshirt for the 2013-14 season and will return for her senior season in the fall of 2014.
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