As Harvard women’s hockey sophomore Haley Mullins and McGill’s Melodie Daoust wait at the faceoff circle, a 5’6” goaltender from Bruderheim, Alberta stands in the Crimson crease. It’s been almost three years since she skated onto the ice of the Bright-Landry Hockey Center for her first collegiate start against Princeton.
The puck drops. It’s the beginning of the end of Emerance Maschmeyer’s Harvard career.
One of the top goalies in the nation, Maschmeyer enters her final year with the Crimson looking to build on an illustrious career. After last year’s national runner-up performance, the team has big aspirations and will count on the senior throughout her curtain call.
“[Maschmeyer’s] huge,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “If your goaltending is good, it gives you an opportunity to win…. Last year she was huge for us on days when the people in front of here weren’t as good and vice versa.”
High expectations aren’t new for Maschmeyer. After all, she spent her early years playing against boys, becoming just the second woman to play in the Brick Tournament and the Alberta Junior Hockey League, following her idol and Hockey Canada goalie Shannon Szabados. With heightened exposure, Maschmeyer was highly recruited coming into collegiate hockey.
The senior has taken the NCAA by storm, sharing starts her freshman year with now-Minnesota Duluth assistant coach Laura Bellamy ’13 before taking over as a sophomore. Since then, Maschmeyer has been named All-American, All-ECAC, All-Ivy, and a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award—given to the best female collegiate hockey player.
Despite the individual achievements, the goaltender’s focus remains on her team. A co-captain with classmate Michelle Picard, Maschmeyer’s guidance will be pivotal for a team replacing seven graduates, two of whom were Olympians.
In addition to mentoring a new crop of athletes, Maschmeyer will be relied upon to command the team, helping Harvard adjust to the tempo of each game.
“We lean on her a lot…. She’s a huge leader, having three years of experience under her belt,” senior forward Miye D’Oench said. “Being our captain, she’s going to bring lots of experience, a lot of calm when we need her to be and exciting when we need her to be at other times.”
Though Maschmeyer has one season left with the Crimson, she has already begun to pave her future.
Maschmeyer was among twenty athletes selected in the inaugural National Women’s Hockey League draft, taken seventh overall by the Boston Pride, who also drafted D’Oench.
Being drafted, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.
International competition has been a big part of Maschmeyer’s career since a young age. While there has been an increase in professional female hockey opportunities, the Canadian has her eyes set on becoming the starting goaltender for her national team.
Maschmeyer has been tabbed as the goalie of the future for Canada from a young age, drawing parallels to Szabados, who stood in the crease for her country at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics and has mentored Maschmeyer after meeting at the Brick Tournament.
Interestingly, the senior could find herself competing against her idol for starting position at the 2018 Olympics.
“[Szabados] was my role model going up, so to be compared to her is amazing,” Maschmeyer said. “The first time I was compared to her I was like ‘yes, that’s exactly what I wanted’ so it’s cool that I’m at that age where we’re competing.”
The senior is certainly headed in the right direction. Maschmeyer is missing the first five games of the season to compete with Canada at the Four Nations Cup for the second year in a row. The goaltender tallied two wins in the 2014 rendition, helping her home nation claim the title, and was also part of the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship squad this summer.
As the collegiate world bids adieu to Maschmeyer, a new journey awaits her. With competition for an Olympic roster spot promising to be difficult, the senior will have to stay on her toes but will have full support from her Harvard hockey family.
“I certainly hope she has an opportunity to play for Team Canada in the Olympic games. I know that’s a goal for her and certainly a goal of ours to help her get there.” Stone said. “The big carrot is the Olympic games.”
There are two years left until the Canadian women’s hockey team skates onto the ice in South Korea. If everything falls into place, Maschmeyer could find herself waiting for the puck to drop once again. This time, however, the Maple Leaf will be emblazoned on her chest as she begins her Olympic career.
All this and more is possible for the girl from Bruderheim, Alberta who—with the confidence and work ethic responsible for her success—patiently awaits her chance at the international spotlight.
“[My] biggest asset is my confidence and knowing how much work I’ve put into my game,” Maschmeyer said. “[Players] never know when they’re going to get the opportunity…. So [it’s important] being ready for that.”
—Staff writer Julio Fierro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.