Triple scoring threat leads Burnsville girls' hockey

  • Article by: RON HAGGSTROM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2013 - 7:34 PM

As Burnsville seeks coaching stability, its top line of goal-scorers has helped the team to five wins.

hide

Burnsville’s Paige Skaja (23) is part of the Blaze girls’ hockey team’s high-scoring first line, along with Lindsey Coleman and Britta Nelson.

Photo: Photos by Richard Tsong-taatarii • rtsong-taataarii@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

The Burnsville girls’ hockey program is looking for stability. So is new coach Tracy Cassano.

The former University of Minnesota forward is the school’s third coach in the past three years. It’s also her third coaching position over the past four seasons.

“It’s a change that needed to happen for our family,” said Cassano, who was a member of the Gophers’ national championship team in 2000. “It’s a good fit for our family — timing is everything.”

Cassano, who recently gave birth to her third child, coached the combined program at Chaska/Chanhassen the previous two years. She was at Rosemount prior to that short stint. Cassano was coach of the Irish for five seasons.

“It’s good to coach again in the South Suburban Conference,” Cassano said. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”

One thing that has remained constant for Burnsville’s program throughout the coaching changes has been the ability of its top line to put the puck in the net. The trio — seniors Lindsey Coleman, Britta Nelson and Paige Skaja — are off to a blazing start to the 2013-14 season.

“It’s been a little hard to adjust to how each coach wants us to play,” Nelson said. “By having the same linemates, though, we have helped each other work through it.”

And then some. The Blaze (5-2) has scored 34 goals in its first seven games. Its top line has accounted for all but five of them.

“All three of them are a big threat to score,” Cassano said.

Coleman is one of the state’s top scorers with 13 goals and 12 assists. She has scored at least one goal in all but one game, and two or more in five games.

Skaja has added nine goals and nine assists while Nelson has chipped in with seven goals and 11 assists.

“We’ve been playing together for a lot of years now,” Skaja said. “We know each other like the back of our hands. We just click.”

The trio are captains along with defenseman Emma Wittchow. Coleman and Wittchow are headed to Minnesota State Mankato.

“We have excellent leadership from our captains,” Cassano said. “They are all unique, and bring different personalities to the team.”

All of them already have learned this season where the Blaze needs to make its biggest improvement from its two losses. It lost to No. 2 Minnetonka 5-3 and No. 6 Edina 7-2. The rankings are provided by Let’s Play Hockey.

“We have to play three full periods,” Nelson said. “We have to play the entire game all the way through. We can’t take a period off.”

If they do, it could keep the Blaze from reaching its final destination — the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the state tournament.

  • related content

  • Burnsville’s Briita Nelson (15), along with linemates Paige Skaja and Lindsey Coleman, have accounted for all but five of the Blaze’s 34 goals so far this season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta 6 Bottom 3rd Inning
Cincinnati 0
LA Angels 1 Top 4th Inning
Boston 0
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:55 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 0 2nd Qtr 12:34
Philadelphia 13
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 49 3rd Qtr 0:31
Indiana 45
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How closely will you follow the Lynx in the WNBA playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close