Amanda Kessel often is referred to as NHL star Phil Kessel's sister. But the way the women's hockey tournament is unfolding, Phil might soon be called "Amanda Kessel's brother."
SOCHI, Russia – Amanda Kessel often is referred to as NHL star Phil Kessel's sister. But the way the women's hockey tournament is unfolding, Phil might soon be called "Amanda Kessel's brother."
Amanda looked dominant Monday, generating two goals and two assists to help the U.S. women's hockey team (2-0) to a 9-0 win against Switzerland in front of a crowd of 3,812.
"Amanda has so much skill that she can drive to the net and she did that tonight," said linemate Brianna Decker. "She was creating havoc. She has great eyes out there."
Phil Kessel, a Toronto Maple Leafs winger, arrived in Sochi on Monday and he is expected to be one of the go-to scorers for the American men. But based on the way she is playing, Amanda could be the favorite to win the Kessel family scoring title.
Much like her older sibling, Kessel is a scoring winger who uses her speed and instincts to humble defenders. She scored a third goal early in the third period that was erased because video replay showed her center, Kendall Coyne, had actually scored before her shot found the net.
"That line has a lot of speed and that definitely showed today," said forward Monique Lamoureux, who also scored a pair of goals.
Kessel's first goal, at 10:15 of the first period, was the USA's third in a span of 55 seconds. That was an Olympic record for fastest three goals.
"We just kept going and we wore them down," Kessel said. "We can suck all of the energy out of another team. It's tough to get back up, and we keep pounding them."
Coyne ended up with two goals and two assists in the contest and Decker had a goal and two assists, giving that line 11 points.
"I don't think I have scored an international hat trick, so that's disappointing," Kessel said. "Maybe the next game."
The Americans' next preliminary-round game is Wednesday against the archrival Canadians. Those two teams are projected to meet in the gold medal game.
Kessel played so well that she kept being awarded goals that weren't hers, including another Coyne goal and a first-period one by Brianna Decker that Kessel touched after it crossed the line.
Kessel pointed out that Coyne's goal wasn't hers.
"They're incredibly selfless," U.S. coach Katey Stone said of her players. "It's just a testament to Kessel's character to give credit where credit is due."
The Kessel-Coyne-Decker line was put together in the women's world championships.
"They're young kids that put it all together and don't feel the pressure, use their speed and talk to each other a lot," Stone said. "We just feel like it wasn't broken and we wanted to keep it going."