SOCHI, Russia — The U.S. women's hockey team's chances for a gold medal look even better now that forward Amanda Kessel is back on the ice.
"I'm 100%," she said Wednesday.
Kessel had offseason surgery to repair a hip injury and she did not play any major games in the lead-up to Sochi. Kessel, along with her brother Phil, a star for the Toronto Maple Leafs, will become the first brother-sister combo to compete in the same Winter Games for Team USA in ice hockey.
Kessel is expected play in the Olympic opener against Finland on Saturday, where she will face goalie Noora Raty, her Minnesota teammate. The two stars led Minnesota to an undefeated season and the NCAA title in 2013.
"She knows me as well as I know her, my strengths and my weaknesses," Kessel said.
The Americans lost to Finland the last time the two nations played, at the Four Nations Cup in November, a game that Kessel missed.