She's back: Amanda Kessel will rejoin Gophers hockey for rest of the season

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Amanda Kessel is coming back to the Gophers women's hockey team.

The University of Minnesota said Wednesday Kessel – who has the fifth-highest point total in program history, despite playing just three seasons – will play the rest of the season with the Gophers. They've got six regular season games left, plus whatever comes of the WCHA and NCAA tournaments.

The 24-year-old hasn't played college hockey since the 2012-13 season.

Last summer, the team announced Kessel would not return for this season – her final year of eligibility – due to a concussion. She missed the 2014-15 season due to concussion issues as well, using up her second and final redshirt season to do so. Her first redshirt year came in 2013-14, as she prepared for the Olympics.

"I’m so happy to be playing hockey again," Kessel, a Wisconsin native who played at Minnesota's Shattuck St. Mary’s High School, said in the news release, adding she isn't suffering concussion symptoms and has been cleared by a number of physicians to play.

"Sometimes difficult things happen in life, and they only make you stronger," she said. "It was extremely challenging, but I did everything I could to get healthy. I’m grateful for everyone who helped and supported me throughout the difficult times. I wouldn't be in this position without them. I cannot wait to be back out there doing what I love to do while representing the University of Minnesota."

Kessel led the nation in scoring during the 2012-13 season (her junior year), tallying 101 points (46 goals, 45 assists) and picking up multiple top player honors. The Gophers went 41-0-0 and won the national title that year.

She's appeared in 114 career games for Minnesota, and her 231 career points places her fifth overall in team history.

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