There were two goalies who really broke out onto the women’s hockey scene at the 2016 World Championships. One was Meeri Raisanen from Finland. The other is Canadian goalie Emerance Maschmeyer. And just like Meeri Raisanen, Emerance Maschmeyer hasn’t come from nowhere. Maschmeyer has been slowing rising to where she is now and at the age of 21 there is no telling just how high she can go.
The impact that Maschmeyer made at the 2016 World Championships was felt throughout the world of women’s hockey. Maschmeyer became one of the hottest commodities in North America. The NWHL and CWHL both jumped at the opportunity to add who could be the best goalie in either league. All things considered it’s highly possible that in the 2016/17 season Emerance Maschmeyer wins the Clarkson Cup, Rookie of the Year, Goalie of the Year, and is named the CWHL MVP.
This isn’t the first time though that Maschmeyer has caused an impact this large in the world of women’s hockey. Maschmeyer first came onto the stage at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World U18 Championship. Before 2012 the American’s had won the past three out of four tournaments. Going into the Gold Medal Game Maschmeyer was about to face a high powered Team USA who had two scorers with +10 points headed into the final game along with two more that had 9 points each.
Outshot 28-16, Team Canada and Emerance Maschmeyer came out on top with a 3-0 victory giving Canada its 2nd Gold medal at the U18’s. Not many goalies can say they managed to shut out an American team that is firing on all cylinders headed into the Final Game. While this doesn’t have a large impact on the current ranking it’s good to go back and see where Maschmeyer started her rise.
Now after the U18 Tournament Maschmeyer went to Harvard University. There she became a consistently above average starter for the four seasons she was there. In her four seasons at Harvard University combined Maschmeyer had a 1.64 GAA and a 0.940 SV% along with owning the All-Time Saves record for Harvard. She didn’t win any championships or awards from the NCAA but her efforts certainly did not go unnoticed by Hockey Canada. Maschmeyer was the 3rd goalie for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championships.
She never played a game for Team Canada in 2015. Maschmeyer was however given the chance to be the starter for the 2016 World Championship depending on how she played for Team Canada at the 4 Nations tournament. Maschmeyer won the starting job from Erica Howe and proceeded to go to the Gold game. Canada lost 3-2 in Overtime but Maschmeyer left a favourable impression on the Hockey Canada staff.
That impression had Maschmeyer take the starting job for Team Canada beating out respective high level CWHL goalies such as Erica Howe and Charline Labonte for the position. Maschmeyer did not disappoint in her first game against the Americans. Maschmeyer was outshot in all three periods and spent a significant amount of time making saves on the penalty kill. Despite the loss it was an admirable performance and everyone became aware of the Canadian goalie named Emerance Maschmeyer.
It didn’t take long for Maschmeyer to 1-up that performance later in the Gold Medal Game. It took until Overtime after an American power play for Team USA to finally squeak one by Maschmeyer. The goal was the only one needed to win Gold for the Americans. Maschmeyer can be disappointed with the result as Gold is always the goal. Maschmeyer however should not be disappointed with her performance. In fact the way Maschmeyer played earned her Best Goaltender of the Tournament. It’s not an honour given out lightly as the last Canadian goalie to win it was Charline Labonte in 2009.
Being 5’ 6” Emerance Maschmeyer is definitely not the biggest goalie you will see in the game today. She plays big and defends her crease. Watching Maschmeyer play you’ll often see her situated at the top of her crease. While Maschmeyer does play a little low in her stance she still covers the top part of the net effectively by holding her glove hand a little higher than the average goalie.
Now playing at the top of your crease can be a little bit dangerous. Quick passing can get the puck into a soft area behind you where the player then has a near empty net to shoot at. Or if you lack patience and commit too early while being at the top of your crease the player can just skate behind you to score on the empty net. Maschmeyer combats these dangers with patience and a strong ability to read the play. The easiest ways to identify these characteristics of Maschmeyer is to watch her on the penalty kill against the Americans. It’s beautiful to watch how she never reacts until the shot happens.
It’s fair to say that Maschmeyer could be ranked higher. Her performances this season at Harvard, the 4 Nations Cup, and World Championship have sent her into the stardom of the hockey world. She’s the youngest goalie in this Top 10 ranking so she hasn’t had the time to build up a successful resume such as Szabados or even Rasianen, though she’s not too far behind the latter.
With Maschmeyer hockey fans are potentially in for quite the treat. As mentioned before she’s only 21yo. She’s not in her prime she’s just starting to her journey to her prime years. All four goalies above Maschmeyer in the rankings are in their primes so for Maschmeyer to be this high and not even in her prime means we could be seeing a contender to the number 1 spot growing. Even if Maschmeyer can’t reach Szabados’ level then we’re still going to be watching one of the best goalies in a while and that makes me more than happy.
One last thing, expect Emerance Maschmeyer to go in the first round of this year’s CWHL draft. Every GM in the CWHL draft except for maybe one will be looking forward to the chance to add possibly the best goalie the CWHL has seen in its history.