Melissa Sailor to lead Andover varsity girls’ hockey program

Andover High School Activities Director Eric Lehtola Monday announced Melissa Sailor as the new girls’ hockey head coach.

Sailor served as an assistant coach under Ben Monahan the past two seasons.  Andover girls hockey coach Melissa Sailor

The St. Olaf College graduate moved on to earn a master’s degree in sports management from St. Cloud State University where she was a graduate assistant with the women’s hockey program serving various capacities. She also coached her youngest sister on an Elk River under-14 team before moving on to coach in the Champlin-Park program for two seasons before joining the Huskies.

Sailor has also coached in USA Hockey advanced camps and OS Training (off-season) and coached in the fall High School Elite League including the under-18 Elite League.

An Irondale High School graduate, Sailor said she’s looking forward to the top job in what should be a promising program in a competitive Northwest Suburban Conference.

She was a coach for the recently completed advanced and high performance camps in which a few Huskies made the cut in their respective age groups for the spring season.

Freshmen Michell Holmes and McKenzie Sederberg made the High Performance 15s; freshman Sidney Portner and sophomore Maddie Rooney made the High Performance 16s and advanced to the final 54; and juniors Abbie Turpin, Mikayla Goodin and Rebecca Voltin each made the High Performance 16s team. Turpin and Goodin also made the final 54.

“Being part of the program the last couple of years and seeing the girls really grow was a huge decision maker for me and other people in the greater community really helped me make the decision,” Sailor said.

With two younger sisters in the Elk River program, a junior and freshman, Sailor, who is a decade older than the middle sister, said she’s going to have to keep her mouth shut around the family.

“I’ve coached against them for three years and it’s really difficult,” she said. “Of course, I think of what a cool thing it really is to coach against them but I’d rather not. They’re both defensemen.”

Sailor said fans should see a new emphasis on a tighter-playing defense from the last two seasons so the team can take advantage of the tremendous offensive skills coming back this fall. “You’ll see a similar highly-offensive team but more tight-disciplined defense focused on the play in our end first then moving the puck forward,” she said.

A meet the coach gathering took place April 24 at the Andover High School Media Center.