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Adversity and a trade couldn’t slow down one of the CWHL’s best goalies

After a surprising trade announcement with Emerance Maschmeyer heading to Montreal, she’s enjoying her new season with Les Canadiennes.

When it was announced that the Calgary Inferno traded Emerance Maschmeyer to Les Canadiennes this summer, it came as quite a shock. Being the Inferno’s first-round draft pick in 2016 going fifth overall and posting the best save percentage in the league (0.946), it came as a surprise, especially since Alberta is Maschmeyer’s home province.

“Playing here last year was amazing. I loved playing in Calgary it’s my home province and I could have my family come out whenever and watch my games. And the team was amazing,” Said the goaltender.

So what gives with a trade?

“I just got cut from the national team in the summer and it was just kind of a fresh start going somewhere else. The centralization team is based out of here [Calgary], so kind of being around this environment would have been really tough for me. So for me to keep developing and staying in my game and not in my head, I wanted to go and play somewhere else and the opportunity came up.”

Maschmeyer made her Team Canada debut with Team Alberta at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and won gold at the age of 16. When I was 16, I cried during a grade 11 physics final. So basically the same thing.

She then went on to win another gold medal with Team Canada at the 2012 U18 IIHF World Championships. She also has three silver medals with Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

So it was quite the surprise to everyone when she got cut from Team Canada this summer and wouldn’t be heading to Pyeongchang in February.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it, I was blindsided for sure. But, I mean, it’s kind of the way it roles in sports, you never know and sometimes the coach has a vision and that’s just kind of the way it is. For me, it was really tough, but I had to find a way to... not get over it, I’m still not over it, but just move forward and find some new challenges and some new opportunities ahead of me.”

But the past is just that: the past. We’ve all got to find a way to move forward and Maschmeyer’s doing exactly that. A fresh start with Les Canadiennes may be all she needed. And coming back to Calgary last weekend to play them the first time since being traded was somewhat of a bitter-sweet moment.

“It was a lot of fun playing them this weekend.” Reiterated Maschmeyer. “Even before the games, I saw them upstairs warming up and they all kind of gave me a hard time and joking around. But it was a lot of fun, they’re obviously a really good team, they have a lot of skill and speed, and great goaltenders as well. So it was a lot of fun playing against them and the handshake line went pretty slow, I wanted to say hi to absolutely everyone.”

With two starts vs. the Inferno this weekend and two wins, including one shutout win and handing the Inferno their first regulation loss of the season, Maschmeyer helped Les Canadiennes earn that sole possession of first place in the CWHL. She also won the CWHL’s ADT Canada’s goalie of the week for the first week of 2018.

But you can’t help but wonder if it was awkward going to the team she lost the Clarkson Cup to.

“It’s a little bit weird when you think of it that way. Kind of what I say is that NHL players get traded all the time and sometimes it’s within the same season. And one day they’re playing with one team and they get traded to another team and maybe they’re playing against the team they just came from. So it’s kind of the reality in our sport becoming more and more professional, so for us, I think it’s a good thing that we have these trades. And yeah, it’s a little weird, it was a little weird at the start, but I’m used to it now and obviously, those girls on the Inferno are still great friends of mine, but I’ve made some new friends as well.”

With Les Canadiennes and the Inferno the number one and two teams in the standings right now, we could be seeing another repeat of the Clarkson Cup final for the third year in a row. Which means Maschmeyer may face her former team in the Clarkson Cup finals (knock on wood). Sorry for annoying you all with the same teams in the finals, everyone.