Swan River's Kaila Powell is making her second straight appearance at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, and it's well deserved.
Kaila and the rest of the Manitoba women kicked off their tournament yesterday with a 5-4 win, and Kaila was huge in the game. She had one goal and one helper.
"It's been going really well, and was a good first game," said Powell. "The competition is really strong this year, so you definitely can't take any team lightly. It's gorgeous out here, and it's really fun just taking everything in."
"I've played defence all year, so I just have to continue getting better playing forward," she added.
Kaila was a part of the team last year when they won a gold medal at the Championships that were played in BC, and she's confident in this year's group as well.
"I'm really thinking we can go for gold again," said Powell. "As long as we're all playing together, and communicating. We'll continue to get sharper as the tournament goes on, and it should be a fun ride."
"It's a great feeling to get to chance to wear the Manitoba jersey at an elite level," she added. "It's a great experience."
The team continues their tournament today, and you can keep up to date with how Kaila and the rest of the team are doing at Team Manitoba.
After the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, Kaila will head straight to Portage for Hockey Manitoba's Top 40 Camp.
She will join 35 of the best players, and three of the best goalies in the province at the U-18 level Camp.
"I'm really excited for myself," said Powell. "I'm going to do my best to advance to the next round, but either way, I'm really proud of myself for getting this far."
"I feel I can be someone who younger girls look up to," said Powell. "It's going to be great to meet some new people, and learn what I can from the camp for sure."
If Kaila moves on after the Top 40 Camp, she would be one step closer to competing at the Canada Winter Games as a part of Team Manitoba next year.
"That definitely adds some pressure," said Powell. "But, I'm happy I got the chance to skate here a little bit. I'm definitely pretty nervous, but that's okay."