Four former elite hockey players who moved behind the bench are using their
positions and experience to grow the women’s game and mentor young players
in New Brunswick.
Head coach Geneviève David and assistant coaches Jocelyn LeBlanc, Kristen
McKinley and Taylor Maschmeyer make up the coaching staff of New
Brunswick’s women’s U18 team that will represent the province at the 2023
Canada Winter Games. All four have extensive experience playing
high-performance and university hockey before hanging up their skates to
lead the next generation.
“Seeing our female staff for the Canada Games, I think it is incredible,”
says Maschmeyer. “We’re all a part of the game in different ways, with
different coaching and playing experiences. You don’t have to have played
the game to be a coach, but it’s pretty remarkable to see that we all have
a hockey résumé as well as a coaching résumé. I think that’s really unique
David is an assistant coach with the St. Thomas University women’s team,
which secured the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship in 2019. She
has also coached high-performance women’s teams with Hockey New Brunswick
(HNB) before and has a handful of Atlantic Challenge Cup titles from the
past few years.
Her playing history includes two silver medals with Team Quebec at the
National Women’s Under-18 Championship, a season with the Quebec Phenix in
the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and an accomplished career with
the Université de Moncton. In David’s first season, she won an AUS
championship, nabbed bronze at the U SPORTS national championship and was
rookie of the year for the university. She was an alternate captain in her
second year and captain for her final two seasons with the Aigles Bleues.
LeBlanc played in HNB’s high-performance program for four years, including
at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. She attended Dalhousie University, where
she was a five-time AUS all-star and is still the all-time leading scorer
for the women’s hockey program. She also won a gold medal with Team Canada
at the FISU World University Games. LeBlanc has served as a coach of the
high-performance women’s program with HNB and attended Canada’s National
Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp as a coach.
McKinley played in HNB’s high-performance program for four years, including
as a member of Team New Brunswick at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and on
Team Atlantic at U18 nationals in 2015 and 2016. She was on a member of
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the
United States in August 2016 before playing hockey at St. Francis Xavier
University for four years. McKinley first took on a coaching role at the
age of 12 and now coaches with the EDZA South U15 AAA Hericanes; she played
on the first-ever Hericanes team in 2011.
Maschmeyer was part of HNB’s U18 program for two years, including serving
as alternate captain of Team New Brunswick at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
Maschmeyer then played for St. Francis Xavier University, winning the AUS
championship and a bronze medal at U SPORTS nationals in her first season.
She was rookie of the year for the university before serving as alternate
captain of the team in her second year. Maschmeyer was named captain for
her final two years, receiving the AUS most sportsmanlike player award both
seasons. She was head coach of the HNB U18 women’s team in 2021 and is
currently head coach of the Oromocto High School AAA Blues.
The choice to transition from playing to coaching was easy for all four
players, but they all faced a similar challenge: the lack of mentors they
had as players.
“I picked up things from coaches I had in the past, but I never had a
female role model as a coach when I was a player growing up,” David says.
“That was a challenge when I became a coach. So now I want to pass on my
knowledge and make sure there are young women involved in coaching who can
serve as role models.”
Additionally, all four played on various boys teams growing up, since
playing exclusively with their peers usually wasn’t an option. But they all
see the tide turning, with more opportunities available for girls and women
“It’s way different than when I grew up,” says LeBlanc. “I didn’t start
playing hockey with girls until high school, whereas now they can play on
an all-female team right from the start. It’s important to have that option
for girls to explore where they want to go.”
The staff recognizes the important role they’ve been given, and also the
unique situation they find themselves in. Each coach has lived these
experiences and can relate to their players’ ambitions for the future.
“When I was at the U18 Team Canada camp, one quote that stuck with me was,
‘We’re here to create good hockey players and better people,’” says
McKinley. “We’re playing a very crucial role in their development.”
Above all, they recognize the importance of being a resource and mentor for
players who may one day also make the transition to a coaching or
“I’m a huge believer in ‘if you can see it, you can be it,’” says LeBlanc.
“If you can see this representation, not only playing but coaching and
officiating, then people can strive to be that as they get older. HNB
created an all-female staff and the visibility is important for young