An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
By the time she was 13, Emerance Maschmeyer had locked in on a dream: She would play hockey for Harvard University.
It’s a long way from her hometown of Bruderheim, Alberta, to Harvard in Cambridge, Mass. — with plenty of hurdles in between — but Maschmeyer was determined.
Her older sister had received a scholarship to play hockey in the United States, at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., so Maschmeyer already was thinking about crossing the border for college.
Then when she became a teen, she went to New England with the boys’ team she was on to compete in a youth tournament. Part of that adventure included a tour of Boston-area universities. At Harvard, it was love at first sight.
“I remember telling my mom, ‘I want to come here one day,’ ” said Maschmeyer.
Her mother encouraged her, but laid out the realities.
“My parents … they treated us like little adults,” Maschmeyer said. “They set it out and they told me, ‘You have to get good grades if you want to come.’ I knew for a while that I had to work on my school and hockey if I wanted to get to where I wanted to go.”
Today, Maschmeyer is a junior at Harvard, having cleared all those academic and athletic hurdles to land in a Crimson uniform. She’s also one of the best goaltenders in NCAA Division I women’s hockey.
As a sophomore, she was co-Ivy League Player of the Year and a second team All-America selection. She finished 10th in the nation in goals-against average (1.75), was fourth in save percentage (.943) and was a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award as the nation’s best player.
This season, she ranks No. 8 in the nation in goals against (1.55) and seventh in save percentage (.937) for Harvard, which is 21-5-3 and ranked No. 4 in the nation.
It’s been another big season for Maschmeyer, who’s known as “Em” or “Masch” by her teammates. She’s 12-4-3 and had won nine of her last 10 decisions going into this past weekend, when she gave up just two goals yet took a tie and a loss as Clarkson University beat Harvard 1-0 and St. Lawrence tied the Crimson 1-1.
Included in that hot streak was a 3-2 victory over then-undefeated and No. 1-ranked Boston College in the Beanpot tournament championship on Feb. 10. Maschmeyer was selected tournament MVP after making 30 saves in the championship game. She withstood a late-game attack by the Eagles, who pulled their goalie for an extra attacker.
“It’s kind of a blur now,” she said, laughing. “There were so many bodies in front of the net and every time the puck would go out to the point, I could hardly see because there were so many bodies. It was quite the battle. … But, yeah, crazy last couple of minutes.”
It also was a sweet victory for Harvard, which had lost 10-2 to B.C. in November. In that one, Maschmeyer had made 26 saves — but allowed five goals. Since then, she’s allowed more than one goal in a game just twice, including the Beanpot championship game.
“The last time we played them, that was our worst game of the season, by far,” she said. “I think that shows a lot about our team’s character, coming back and not letting that last game get to us. It showed us how much strength we have and how far we’ve come this season.”
Back home in Alberta this past summer, she worked hard to improve. She met with a personal trainer off the ice to improve her explosiveness and quickness, using agility and reaction drills. She also met once a week on the ice with a goalie trainer “to tune up” her game.
She believes one of her strengths in goal is her mental approach and her “bounce-back ability.”
“If something isn’t going right in the game I usually can stop that,” she said. “I know how hard I’ve worked … so my confidence is my biggest asset.” And, as in the Beanpot victory, she can recover after giving up an early goal.
“You just have that short-term memory loss,” she said. “You need to forget about it quick and move on and stop the next shot.”
Emerance — she says her parents made up the name from a combination of her great grandmother’s name (Emma) and her mother’s love of emeralds — has had quite a bit of experience in the Canadian women’s national program. In 2012, she shut out the U.S. in Canada’s 3-0 victory in the final of the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. In November, she was selected to the Canadian senior national team for the first time and played in the Four Nations Cup. She was 2-0 in four games, with wins over Sweden and Finland. She gave up just one goal and made 23 saves. She hopes to make the Canadian Olympic team for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.
Before that, however, Maschmeyer (who’s majoring in sociology with a minor in economics) still has a year and a half to enjoy studying and playing at Harvard — her dream school.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Photo by: Elan Kawesch/Harvard University
Saturday, March 21, 2015
McNamara Alumni Center- University of Minnesota
10:30 a.m. – noon