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Maple Leafs impressed by younger Kessel's success

Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 1:34 PM / NHL Insider

By Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Maple Leafs impressed by younger Kessel's success
While Phil Kessel is busy scoring goals and helping Toronto in its playoff push, younger sister Amanda had a week to remember, capped by winning the World Championship with Team USA.

With four goals in a home-and-home series against the New York Rangers this week, Phil Kessel helped the Toronto Maple Leafs capture three out of a possible four points.

But regardless of what Kessel does over the next few days, the week likely belongs to his younger sister, Amanda.

Three weeks after capturing the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey, the University of Minnesota junior scored the game-winning goal Monday night against Canada to help the United States capture the 2013 Women's World Championship.

"He's bragging a little bit. But I don't think he even watched the game. I think I may have told him she won the game."
-- Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur

The championship goal brought to an end a magical season for Kessel, who won a second consecutive NCAA championship and led the Golden Gophers to a historic undefeated season.

"He's bragging a little bit. But I don't think he even watched the game," joked Toronto teammate Clarke MacArthur. "I think I may have told him she won the game."

Just days after Amanda won her first World Championship, older brother Phil's teammates were still discussing the impressive Kessel hockey bloodline.

"He was happy today," Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson said before Wednesday's matchup against the Rangers. "We were talking with him about it. He's pretty happy for her."

With another brother, Blake, playing with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL, Amanda is just the latest Kessel to make her mark on the hockey world. And her recent exploits haven't gone unnoticed by Phil Kessel's Toronto teammates.

"That's pretty cool. She had quite the season. Went undefeated in college and then won the World Championship," said Maple Leafs wing James van Riemsdyk, who played with Blake Kessel at the University of New Hampshire. "They've got a pretty good hockey playing family. They've got some good bloodlines there."

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp