In the three years that The Ice Garden has ranked the Top 25 players Under 25 Emerance Maschmeyer has never finished lower than 13th. After winning gold with Team Canada at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, she has been on everyone’s radar. Since then, she’s lived up to all of the hype and then some.
This year, Maschmeyer is our highest ranked goalie and deservedly so. Despite the fact that she hasn’t won a Clarkson Cup or a gold medal at the Olympics or the Women’s Worlds, the Canadian netminder has established herself as one of the best goaltenders on the planet. At 5-foot-6, the Alberta native is almost never the tallest goaltender on the ice, but her mobility and ability to read the play sets her apart from her peers.
Maschmeyer had a sensational collegiate career with the Harvard Crimson. In all four of her seasons in the Ivy League, she won at least 12 games and posted a save percentage of at least .935 percent. In other words, she was consistently brilliant. She won ECAC Goaltender of the Year as a sophomore and was a Patty Kazmaier nominee in her sophomore and junior seasons. She’s also Harvard’s all-time career leader in saves (2,538) and is second all-time in career save percentage (.940).
Last year, Maschmeyer led all CWHL goaltenders in starts, quality starts, wins, GSAA/60 (goals saved above average per 60 minutes), and shared the league lead in shutouts (four) with Annie Belanger. Many had her tabbed as the CWHL’s Goaltender of the Year for her performance in the regular season, which featured a .935 save percentage and a 1.58 goals against average. However, she lost out to Alex Rigsby of the Calgary Inferno, who had one fewer win and a .923 save percentage.
When the CWHL folded, it shut the door on Maschmeyer’s pursuit of Sami Jo Small’s shutout record (16). Despite the fact that she played just three seasons in the CWHL, her name still appears a few times in the league’s record books. She eared 12 shutouts in three seasons with the Calgary Inferno and Les Canadiennes de Montréal — good for third all-time*. She also finished eighth all-time in wins and the highest career save percentage (.930) among all CWHL goaltenders who played at least 50 career games.
Maschmeyer has been just as brilliant on the international stage. With the exception of one rocky outing at the 2017 Women’s World Championship — in which she allowed three goals on 11 shots against Finland — she’s never let her team down when the eyes of the world were watching. Since the 2016 Worlds, where she was named the Best Goaltender of the Tournament by the Directorate, she has posted a .929 save percentage in the 338:42 TOI she has tended Canada’s goal.
maschmeyer with a huge save on cameranesi like wow but also duh its masch pic.twitter.com/CFV3e03VtV— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) February 13, 2019
More recently, at the 2019 Worlds, Maschmeyer made 36 saves on 39 shots and allowed just two even strength goals in 120 minutes of hockey. Her .923 save percentage was all the more impressive because 27 of her 36 stops were made against USA on Apr. 6, 2019. Although Canada lost that game, each of those saves were worth their own weight in gold — or, in Canada’s case, bronze.
At the age of 24, she has already collected three silver medals and one bronze medal at the Women’s World Championship in addition to the gold she won at the 2012 U18 World Juniors.
Maschmeyer was one of approximately 200 players who took the #ForTheGame pledge on social media to boycott playing professional hockey in North America in the 2019-20 season. She’s also a part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association.
If we do see a WNHL emerge sometime in the near future, one has to imagine that Maschmeyer will be one of the few goalies that will have starting spot in that league — especially if an NHL-backed league has just half a dozen teams. Of course, we are just talking about hypotheticals here, so it’s hard to divine what the next chapter of Maschmeyer’s professional career will look like.
What we can safely assume is that the Harvard alumna will continue to have a major role on Team Canada. With Shannon Szabados and Geneviève Lacasse both in their 30s, Maschmeyer is the natural choice to be the team’s top goaltender heading into the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Of course, a lot can change before then, but Maschmeyer’s skill is undeniable. As things currently stand, she’s the most important goaltender for Team Canada for the foreseeable future not only because of what she’s already accomplished, but also for the potential she still has.
Is This Ranking Too High or Too Low?
Maschmeyer undoubtedly deserves to be our highest ranked goaltender. Whether or not she should be higher in our Top-10 is up for debate. It goes without saying that goaltending is the most important position in the sport, so there is definitely a case to be made that she deserves to be ranked higher on those grounds alone.
Maschmeyer was likely dragged down by Canada’s disappointing finish at the 2019 Worlds, her two defeats in the Clarkson Cup Final in 2017 and 2019, and the fact that she was a cut from Team Canada’s 2018 Olympic roster. If that is the case, Maschmeyer isn’t the first goaltender who was primarily judged by the overall performance of the team(s) she played for and she won’t be the last.
*= Some historic CWHL goaltending data is incomplete.