Every member of Canada’s National Women’s Team began their career the same
way: by playing at the grassroots of our game. Along the way, they had
coaches who helped to shape their playing style and boost their love of
Here’s a look at two players, two coaches and two lasting impressions.
Sarah Nurse and Stacey Marnoch
Stacey Marnoch coached Sarah Nurse in the latter part of her minor hockey
career. She was head coach while Nurse played two years with the Stoney
Creek Sabres (Intermediate AA), and the two have continued to stay in touch
along Nurse’s hockey journey.
Hockey Canada (HC): How did you get into coaching?
Stacey Marnoch (SM):
I played for a coach that asked us to give back. He was kind of my most
impactful coach, so that was important to me. Back in the day, it was
parents that were coaching and there were no certifications necessary, so I
didn’t know where to start. I contacted the [Ontario Women’s Hockey
Association], they put me in touch with Diane Boles who, at the time, was
coaching the Stoney Creek Intermediate AA Sabres, and I joined her staff. I
was an assistant coach for four years and then took the team over.
HC: Do any memories stand out from coaching Sarah?
There’s a bunch of them… We were out for dinner as a team and my general
rule was no fried foods, no dessert. And she convinced me to let them order
dessert and everyone would share it, so they’d each have half. When this
dessert was coming to the table, to me it just looked like they had all
ordered dessert and it just kept coming and I was angry… She was just like
‘Coach, can I talk to you for a second?’ And we stepped aside and she’s
like, ‘Listen, I wasn’t cheating, I wasn’t lying. This is a big dessert […]
Coach, just breathe because I followed instructions, no worries here.’ She
coached me for a minute. I needed it and they needed it. It was wise beyond
her years for sure.
HC: Stacey, what message would you give to Sarah?
Just keep being her. I think she really has it figured out. She knows who
she is. She’s confident, she’s well spoken. She is aware of her platform
and how she chooses to use it. Just keep being you because she is genuinely
her in every situation I see her in. And that’s all we can be, right?
HC: Sarah, what message would you give to Stacey?
Stacey, thank you so much. You know how much of an impact you’ve had on me
and my hockey career, and also my family as well. I definitely wouldn’t be
the player, the person that I am today without you. And I know that you
continue to inspire future generations of young girls and your journey is
not over. It’s still continuing. And I’m so grateful that you’ve had such
an impact on me. Thank you.
Emerance Maschmeyer and Erick Robertson
Erick Robertson began his coaching journey after growing up playing hockey.
He began working with Emerance Maschmeyer in her earliest years as a
goaltender, and they continue to work together.
HC: Erick, how did you and Emerance start working together?
Erick Robertson (ER):
I first met Emerance when she was six or seven years old… I met her through
her dad, Arlan, who at the time wanted her to make Team Brick Alberta, the
big [U9] tournament out here. So of course, Emerance worked hard and made
that tournament. I’ve been coaching Emerance ever since. Not too many
10-year-olds say that they want to go to Harvard, but that was one of her
goals when she was 10 years old. Of course, later on, that’s where she
ended up going and playing hockey on a scholarship.
HC: When you first began coaching Emerance, what qualities stood out to
Em was really special from the beginning… I think there was some pretty
strong family values there too with all her siblings playing hockey. Of
course, I think that’s how she ended up becoming the goalie she is, for
sure. But right from day one, she had that drive and that work ethic and
always played at a top level, not only with the girls, but [she was also]
able to compete with the boys all the way growing up through minor hockey.
That competitor was in her right from day one.
HC: Erick, what message would you give to Emerance?
We’re so very proud of her. Just all the hard work that she’s put into her
game. I’m blown away every summer that I do see her, just her improvement
and especially lately leading up to the worlds, then obviously now the
Olympics, [it’s] that determination and drive that she [has] to succeed.
She’s willing to do anything to get there.
HC: Emerance, what message would you give to Erick?
I would say that this gold medal that I received [from the IIHF Women’s
World Championship in August], part of it is for him and I wouldn’t have it
without him. I know that I wouldn’t be at the level I’m at right now in my
game if I didn’t ever cross paths with him. I have a lot to thank him for.
Looking to get involved behind the bench in your community? Contact
your local hockey association and visit
for more information.