GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) _ The night before she played for the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal, Amanda Kessel looked at her phone and saw text messages from her brother, Phil, offering encouragement.
“Just, ‘Proud of you no, matter what,’ and he believes in me,” Kessel said.
Kessel hadn’t yet checked her phone in the minutes after she and the United States beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout for the gold medal in an instant classic between the sport’s two powerhouses.
Phil tweeted he was proud of his sister and all of Team USA.
Amanda Kessel was one of three U.S. players to score on Canada goalie Shannon Szabados in the shootout, making a difference four years after she was injured during the Sochi Games.
“It’s just battling through a lot,” Kessel said. “Our entire team battled through a lot. You can’t see it on the outside, but the heart that every single girl has on this team, I knew we had it within us to win.”
Amanda Kessel now has one more goal medal than Phil, who took home silver while playing for the United States in Vancouver in 2010, when it lost to Canada on Sidney Crosby’s golden goal.
Phil Kessel won the Stanley Cup the past two seasons with Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Asked if this meant she had one up on her brother, Amanda Kessel said: “I don’t know. Maybe we’re even.”