Red Wing's Schammel to skate for Mankato

Nicole Schammel
Red Wing's Nicole Schammel celebrates her third goal of the night against Hutchinson in the girls high school hockey state tournament quarterfinals Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The third period goal made the game 5-5 and forced overtime. Schammel went on to score the game winning overtime goal.

After much thought and deliberation over the weekend, Nicole Schammel decided where she wants to continue her hockey career in two years.

Minnesota State, Mankato.

Schammel, a Red Wing forward and the leading scorer in the state, gave her verbal agreement to Mankato head coach Eric Means on Sunday night.

Only a junior, Schammel certainly could have waited before making her commitment. But after a visit to Mankato on Friday, the decision was clear-cut.

"Mankato is the right place for me,'' she said. "Now, I can just focus on playing hockey this year and hopefully get us back to state.''


The Wingers are 15-1 and have been to state three of the last four years.

Schammel leads the state in goals with 42 and scoring with 74 points.

She was interested and visited several WCHA schools — North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, Bemidji and St. Cloud among them — before picking the Mavericks.

"I also thought about Ohio State,'' she said, "but I guess I always wanted to play in the WCHA.

"Mankato is a good fit for me.''

The Mavericks are coached by Eric Means, a 1989 Rochester John Marshall graduate. He played at the University of Minnesota and served 14 years as a Mankato men's assistant before taking over the women's head coaching job four years ago.

Mankato is 8-11-3 overall and is sixth in the WCHA standings.

"They're going to losing six forwards by the time I get there,'' said Schammel, "so they indicated I could jump right into the lineup.


"I've been a goal scorer for as long as I can remember and hopefully that can translate to the college game.''

Schammel also plays golf and helped Red Wing to a fourth-place finish at the Class AAA state tournament last June.

"That's another reason I picked Mankato,'' Schammel said. "I'm going to be able to play both sports.''

She hasn't picked out a major but she has plenty of time to decide.

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