On April 1, 2017, Emerance Maschmeyer was in net for Team Canada’s 4-3 loss in group play to Team Finland at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships. Maschmeyer, the starting goaltender, allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first 27 minutes of the contest before she was replaced by Geneviève Lacasse. One month later, Maschmeyer found herself on the outside looking in on Canada’s centralization roster.
“It’s one of those things where [there’s] a lot of adversity, and I’m finding a way to have a thicker skin in all of this,” Maschmeyer told Tristan D’Amours of The Link in January. “You can’t be sad about everything, you [have to] use it as motivation. For me, motivation builds character, that’s how you see a person’s true character. I don’t want to dwell on it and not improve my game.”
It was a devastating blow for Maschmeyer, who had moved to Calgary in 2016 so that she could play with the Inferno and have access to Team Canada’s training facility. Three months after receiving the news that she was outside of Hockey Canada’s top-three goaltenders on the depth chart, Maschmeyer was traded from Calgary to Les Canadiennes de Montreal.
In Montreal, Maschmeyer received invaluable support and guidance off of the ice from two of Canada’s greatest goaltenders. Playing with Les Canadiennes, Maschmeyer was able to spend a lot of time with her idol, Charline Labonté. She also shared duties as Concordia University’s goaltending coach with Kim St-Pierre. They both knew what playing for Team Canada meant to Maschmeyer and both understood how much it would to get cut.
“[Labonté] been part of the national team for so long and it was her first year being retired from Team Canada so she was a really good outlet to have,” Maschmeyer told Lindsay Morey of The Record in April. “She had a really good perspective on everything. She’s someone who understood — not exactly what I was going through — but could relate because she’s been through a lot of different experiences. Having her here in Montréal and rooting for me and on my side, it was really nice to have her to talk to.”
Last year, Maschmeyer was a finalist for the CWHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award. She posted a .920 save percentage and a 1.78 GAA, proving that she can carry a heavy workload at the professional level. According to the work of @CreaseGiants, Maschmeyer had 12 quality starts in 2017-18. Her 5.592 GSAA (goals saved above average) in the regular season was the third-best in the CWHL and she was one of Montreal’s best players in the 2018 Clarkson Cup Playoffs.
This season the Bruderheim, Alberta native is off to a head-turning start. She has a sizzling .956 save percentage and a 5-1-0-0 record for Montreal. The back-to-back shutouts she posted against the Toronto Furies before the Four Nations Cup break elevated her to third all-time in CWHL shutouts, eclipsing St-Pierre. Maschmeyer followed that performance by stopping all 16 of the shots she faced in 78 minutes at Four Nations.
Maschmeyer’s spotless 78 minutes of hockey in Saskatoon was overshadowed by other storylines, but it was still noteworthy. She shutout Team USA in the final 18 minutes of the gold medal game (in relief of Szabados) and stopped all 14 shots she faced against Team Finland — the same team that chased her from the crease at the 2017 Women’s Worlds. Small sample size aside, it was a promising return to the national team for Maschmeyer.
Shannon Szabados will be 36 when the 2022 Olympics roll around, which means Canada will almost certainly be without the best goalie in the world. Maschmeyer may be smaller than Szabados, Labonté, and St-Pierre, but there’s no denying her skill level. If she remains committed to honing her skills, Maschmeyer should have every opportunity to establish herself as Canada’s next great goaltender.