Let’s set the scene: April 16, 2012. Interior Savings Centre. Game 6, WHL Western Conference quarter-final.
Trailing the Portland Winterhawks 5-2 heading to the third period, and down 3-2 in the series, the Kamloops Blazers embarked on one of the greatest
comebacks in franchise history, capped by a Bronson Maschmeyer goal with 20 seconds left to give them a 7-6 win and force Game 7, which they would lose a
few days later.
The goal forever has a place in Blazers lore, so it’s no surprise that with another member of the Maschmeyer clan in Kamloops for the 2016 IIHF Women’s
World Championship, it has come up a few times.
“He deserves all that,” Emerance Maschmeyer says of the attention her brother still gets in Kamloops. “He’s a great player, and an even better person, so I
love hearing when people talk about my brother, and I’m proud of him. He scored a huge goal, but he’s done a lot more than that.”
This week, though, Emerance is the Maschmeyer in the spotlight, backstopping Canada’s National Women’s Team at the women’s worlds in front of raucous,
pro-Canadian crowds at the Sandman Centre.
But loud crowds in Kamloops aren’t anything new to the goaltender.
She made one trip to the city during her brother’s three seasons with the Blazers, checking out a few playoff games of that 2012 playoff run, and played
for Canada at the 2014 4 Nations Cup, so there haven’t been too many times she’s been in the Sandman Centre when it hasn’t been rocking.
“Every time I’ve been in this rink there has been a great atmosphere,” Maschmeyer says. “It’s starting to feel like home here. It’s feeling familiar, and
the fans are great. They bring a lot of great vibes.”
The fan support has been fantastic, but the family support has been better for the young netminder, who has been in touch with Bronson after every game,
despite being at opposite ends of the country; he is in his fourth year at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., meaning the games don’t begin
until 11:30 p.m. AT.
“He stayed up until three in the morning watching the game [against the U.S.], and he and his girlfriend couldn’t go to sleep because they were so excited
after the game,” Maschmeyer says. “He sent me a long text and a couple videos from the game, so that shows you right there [the support he gives].”
But it doesn’t end with just Bronson. Emerance, 21, is the fourth-youngest of the five Maschmeyer kids, behind sister Brittaney, 27, and brothers Bronson,
24, and Brock, 23, and ahead of brother Kache, 19, so there is plenty of what she calls “sibling love” to go around.
Growing up on a farm just outside of Bruderheim, Alta. (population 1,155), hockey was the thing to do – as it is in so many Prairie towns, big and small –
so that’s what the Maschmeyers did.
“We all grew up playing hockey,” Emerance says. “We were always at the rinks, and I think all my childhood memories are at the rink, or at home on the rink
All that time on ice certainly helped; the Maschmeyer name has travelled the hockey world, to the CHL, CJHL, WWHL, CWHL, CIS, and NCAA, across the
Atlantic, and on the international stage:
Brittaney – Edmonton Chimos (WWHL); St. Lawrence University (NCAA-ECAC); Syracuse University (NCAA-CHA); Team Alberta (CWHL); ZSC Lions (Switzerland);
Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team (2008-09)
Bronson – St. Albert Steel (AJHL); Vancouver Giants (WHL); Kamloops Blazers (WHL); St. Francis Xavier University (CIS-AUS)
Brock – Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL); Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL); Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL); Northern Michigan University (NCAA-WCHA)
Emerance – Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL); Harvard University (NCAA-ECAC); Canada’s National Women’s Team (2014-16); Canada’s National Women’s Development
Team (2012, 2014-15); Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team (2011-12)
So, ya … the Maschmeyers are a hockey-playing family.
And then there are the ringleaders of the family circus – father Arlen, and mother Christine. With five kids within eight years in age, all playing hockey,
at times it took a super-human effort to get everyone where they needed to go, when they needed to be there.
“I can’t say enough good things about my parents,” Maschmeyer says. “They sacrificed a lot – a lot of time, a lot of money – but it has definitely paid
off. My mom, she is the most organized lady I’ve ever met, and my dad, he stayed on us from three years old. They did everything they could to get us to
our full potential.”
This week, the attention of the family – wherever they are watching from – is on Kamloops, and Emerance’s quest to add a women’s worlds gold to the U18
world title she won in 2012.
While their focus is on Emerance, the family is never far from her mind.
“Every time I put on my jersey [I think of them]. Before I put on my jersey I always look at the Maple Leaf, and it just hits me. Especially when I go on
the ice, and I just feel the whole crowd. My whole childhood flashes before my eyes, and it’s crazy. I’ve been working my whole life for this moment.”