Emma Maltais is coming off one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in Ohio State women’s hockey history, scoring a team-high 40 points in the 2017-2018 season.
She plans to build off that year after recently being invited to participate for the Under-22 USA vs. Canada women’s series.
Maltais joined two of her fellow Buckeye teammates, redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne and senior defenseman Lauren Boyle, in being selected for this series. However, unlike her two teammates, Maltais was chosen to represent her native country of Canada.
This was not the first time that Maltais has been selected to play for Canada, as she has had an eventful career playing internationally before she came to Ohio State.
The Buckeye sophomore forward played for the Under-18 women’s team for Canada back in 2016 and competed in the 2018 Nations Cup with Team Canada out in Germany, playing against other national teams from several countries including Finland, Sweden, Germany and Russia.
“Nothing is taken for granted,” Maltais said. “You never know when the last time you’ll be wearing the jersey is. So, every time you’re out there trying out is always an opportunity, so you have to leave it all out there.”
Despite all this history, the Under-22 USA vs. Canada women’s series offered a little twist for Maltais. The Team Canada head coach was Nadine Muzerall, head coach for the Ohio State team.
Muzerall’s presence brought a sense of familiarity for Maltais.
“It was really cool learning that I was going to play under coach Muzerall,” Maltais said. “I’ve never had that before, so I thought that knowing a little bit of her system with practices and practice drills would help me out a lot. She’s an amazing coach, and it made me more comfortable in the sense that it was like being back in Ohio.”
The actual series itself went in favor of Team USA, as the team swept the series. Maltais herself did not score any points but, in the three games played, she showed Dunne why she was on Team Canada.
“Emma’s one of the best sports all around,” Dunne said. “Off the ice, she’s a great friend, but on the rink, she was wearing a Canada jersey. It’s awesome to play against someone so talented. Every time I go up against, I know that she’s going to push me, and I know I have to bring my best game.”
As the days dwindle down to the beginning of the 2018 season, Maltais said she looks forward to building off of this experience and the successes of the Buckeyes last season making the Frozen Four.
“All of this builds confidence,” Maltais said. “Making the Frozen Four last year with our team was the definition of hard work paying off. Having that confidence and experience moving forward into this series really helped me as a player and an individual. I also think that by participating in that series, I can bring that experience back to OSU and that will really help the team this year.”