Reporting Shane Kitzman
Minnesota’s most dangerous girl on skates is taking out the trash.
Literally and figuratively.
Red Wing’s Nicole Schammel disposes of opposing defenses with the most goals (65) and points (111) tallied in the state this season.
Yet she still has enough energy left over to clean up the locker rooms at Prairie Island Arena — one aspect of her part-time job.
And … the 16-year-old’s only a junior. Her Wingers are 25-2, ranked No. 3 in Class A, and are state-bound after beating New Prague 9-1 Thursday night at home in the Section 1A title game. Oh, and Schammel had a decent night — four goals and three assists.
The University of Minnesota State, Mankato verbal commit is an early favorite for Ms. Hockey Minnesota 2014 for three reasons.
1. Her older brothers Blake (22) and Jordan (24) — both hockey players — showed her the way.
“They would always be out in the driveway playing street hockey, and I just wanted to be in the middle of everything they were doing,” she said. “I wanted to be like them. So I skated as soon as I could walk. Blake really pushed me throughout the years, too.”
2. Played Pee Wees with boys before joining the varsity girl’s hockey team as a seventh grader.
“I played with the boys through third grade,” she said. “In fourth and fifth grade I was with a good girls U12 team. Then I went back to play with the boys for sixth grade – the boys pushed me to be better and they played at a faster pace.”
3. Practicing her craft at an early age in her family’s sporting goods store.
“When my mom was at work, I would be stuck with my dad at work (at Carlson’s Sport Center) and roll around on roller blades on the wood floors,” she recalled. “I had a garbage can I would shoot into.”
Her resume continues on:
School is far from challenging – she boasts a 3.9 GPA.
Out of her five years on Red Wing’s varsity player, she’s helped the Wingers make state four times.
In the fall, she’s a varsity tennis player and has been since eighth grade.
She’s an All-Conference golfer who’ll be Red Wing’s No. 1 when the snow melts.
The family’s place on Lake Pepin is her summer getaway, where fishing, tubing and water skiing keep her busy.
Schammel may be the only female 16-year-old hockey star to have read the critically acclaimed autobiography “Open” by Andre Agassi.
And — best yet — she’s well aware her teammates have helped make her a Division I recruit.
“I would consider our goalie, Ashley Corcoran, the most important player,” Schammel said. “She’s had a really good season and she’s a huge part of our success. And we’ll need Reagan Haley, Paige Haley and Emily Stegora to play well in the playoffs, too.”
With her team enjoying its preparation for “The Tourney,” the junior is still staying grounded.
“Every year we’ve made it to state, we have just wanted to do better,” she said. “The first year we got third. The second year we were Consolation Champs, and then we finished fourth. We hope to leave our mark (this year).”
Though you’ll never find Schammel perusing the rankings listing the state’s top teams and offensive threats, doesn’t mean you won’t find a relative of hers doing just that.
“My grandpa (Dick Carlson) is one of my biggest followers,” she said. “He’ll call and tell me where we’re ranked.”