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Maschmeyer looking to cap whirlwind year with gold at Women’s Worlds


It has been a whirlwind year for goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer since she last suited up at the IIHF Women’s World Championships.

Since Canada went home with silver last April in Brampton, Ont., the 29-year-old has gotten married, become the No. 1 goaltender for Ottawa in the inaugural Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) season, and announced at the end of February that she and wife Geneviève Lacasse are expecting a baby.

Lacasse was also a goaltender for Team Canada, appearing in five world championships and two Olympics, winning gold at the 2014 Games in Sochi. She now works for the PWHL as manager of corporate sponsorships and sales.

At a recent Ottawa practice, two of Maschmeyer’s teammates, Emily Clark and Brianne Jenner, were armed with the knowledge of the gender of Maschmeyer and Lacasse’s baby and did a gender reveal around the two competing in an obstacle course on the ice, with Clark in a pink jersey and Jenner in blue.

Jenner crossed the finish line first, revealing that the couple would be having a baby boy.

"Geneviève and I didn't know what the obstacle course would look like and we didn't know the gender before so we left it to Clarkie and Jenner to come up with the course," Maschmeyer told of the gender reveal. "Then we hired a couple of videographers and made it a big ordeal at the end of practice but it was a lot of fun."

Being nurturing is nothing new to Maschmeyer, according to some of the younger members of Team Canada. Julia Gosling, a 23-year-old forward who centralized with Canada before being cut ahead of the 2022 Olympics and made this year’s worlds roster after a strong senior season at St. Lawrence University, says Maschmeyer has always been approachable and a role model. 

“She’s been kind of like my mom,” said Gosling of Maschmeyer. “She has always been super caring with me, and I feel like I can always look up to her and she’s been super easy to talk to about anything.

“She made me always feel like I was included in everything so that was awesome.”

Knowing she and Lacasse were ready to start their family, it was important for Maschmeyer to find a PWHL home that would be the right fit on and off the ice.

“Everything has just fallen into place,” said Maschmeyer. “We’re super fortunate that Ottawa lined up and they wanted me, and I wanted them. Everything kind of aligned and now we have that security of knowing where we’ll be and being able to start our family in a city like Ottawa.”

Maschmeyer said she and Ottawa general manager Mike Hirshfeld found their values aligned when they met during the PWHL’s free agency period. Maschmeyer ended up being one of the first three players signed by the team, along with Clark and Jenner.

The Bruderheim, Alta., product has enjoyed the workload that comes with being a No. 1 goalie. In her last professional season in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with Les Canadiennes de Montreal in 2018-19, she played in 20 games, going 15-4-1 with a .935 save percentage and 1.45 goals-against average.

Maschmeyer only played only a handful of games between 2019 and 2022,  suiting up for the national team and for one game with Montreal of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. In 2022-23, she appeared in 10 games with Team Scotiabank in the PWHPA.

PWHL Ottawa Emerance Maschmeyer

Now as the No. 1 in Ottawa, she has appeared in all 18 games, going 7-6-4 with a .911 save percentage and 2.33 GAA.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Maschmeyer. “It’s honestly been a whirlwind. We’re on the road all the time, we’re playing games every couple of days. But it really is a dream come true, especially after the last few years of not being able to play consistently.”

Maschmeyer made the official switch from player to goalie at age 10. The shortest of Team Canada’s goalies at 5-foot-6, she recognized early on that with her size, she needed to be a good skater and be strong technically. She cites her first goalie coach back in Alberta, Erick Robertson, as someone who valued a technical game.

Maschmeyer has had the opportunity to work with former NHL goalie coach Pierre Groulx in Ottawa, who has previously worked with the Senators, Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens. She says he brings a fresh set of eyes to her game.

“I think that it’s important at this stage of my career, finding little ways to make improvements and taking tips from him,” said Maschmeyer. “He’ll just see a couple of new things that ‘Okay, why don’t you try this, try this?’ and then you either implement it or it doesn’t work for me. So, he’s been awesome, and we collaborate quite a bit. We watch a lot of video, and we also have a great relationship off the ice as well.” 

While Gosling has yet to face Maschmeyer at the professional level, she's had plenty of practice time against her with the national team and knows how hard it is to get the puck past her. 

“Going against her is definitely not very fun,” said Gosling. “She’s super shifty but also very structured. I’ve been robbed many times [by] her, like backdoor, a decoy when you think you have her but you don’t have her.”

As she has gotten more comfortable as Ottawa’s No. 1 goalie, that comfort has been extended off the ice as well. Since getting married in July, Maschmeyer has been more open about her relationship with Lacasse online. Together for nine years, she says they kept their relationship under wraps as they didn’t want it overshadowing their hockey careers.

They overlapped playing with each other in three world championships (2015, 2017 and 2019) and in the CWHL for two seasons, with the Calgary Inferno (2016-17) and les Canadiennes (2018-19).

“During our careers together, we were just so supportive of one another, we pushed each other as goalie partners should do and we help each other out in whatever way we could,” said Maschmeyer. “I think when we were playing, we often times didn’t give unsolicited advice. We always had a rule that we would ask the other person before just giving advice.

“But I think it’s funny now because I feel like we actually end talking a lot more about hockey and goaltending now that she’s retired. I think it’s just she sees it from a different perspective and has the bird’s-eye view of the game and I appreciate that as well when I’m in those moments and I’m taking myself too seriously. She always has a great perspective for me.”

While family and friends knew about their relationship, Maschmeyer says they didn’t feel the need to do a big coming out but decided to wait for their wedding to do a hard launch and post photos on social media.

She recognizes the game has a sizeable LGBTQ2S+ audience and understands the players have a platform and a voice to express who they are and be role models. 

“I think, especially with this league and the fans that we have, I think it’s important to be able to share who we are and connect with our fans and I know that our relationship can help other people as well,” said Maschmeyer.

“I take a lot of pride in that, and I know she [Lacasse] does too.”

Now her attention turns to this year’s worlds, which run from April 3-14 in Utica, N.Y. This will be the eighth world championship for Maschmeyer, who has two golds, four silvers, and one bronze on her resume.

This also the fourth straight worlds for the goaltending trio of Ann-Renée Desbiens, Maschmeyer and Kristen Campbell. In that stretch, Desbiens has been the primary starter, getting the lion’s share of the starts with Maschmeyer as the No. 2 playing two to three games per tournament.

While Canada has come back from being down 3-0 in the Rivalry Series to win 4-3 over the United States two years in a row, Maschmeyer says the team is ready to erase the sting of losing 6-3 to the Americans in the gold-medal game in last year’s worlds.

“We definitely have a chip on our shoulder,” said Maschmeyer. “I think after experiencing winning a few times in a row and then having this last experience of coming short, we’re hungry.”