Inuvik's Kyra McDonald hits the ice for APTN reality show
McDonald is one of the best hockey players in the North, now Canada can watch her play
Most hockey fans in the North already know Kyra McDonald is one of the best in the Northwest Territories.
She led the way for Team North at this year's National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, scoring the team's first goal of the tournament, seven goals during a day of action, and she was named the top women's forward of the tournament.
Now, her talents are being showcased across Canada and the United States as she stars in Hit the Ice, a reality TV show broadcast on APTN. Indigenous players from around the country gather to play on an all-star team. The show tracks them from training camp, right through the season.
"I was really nervous," McDonald said. "It's kind of intimidating to come from the North and play with all these girls who come from the big cities and across Canada."
McDonald, who is from Inuvik, N.W.T., was one of two Northerners featured on the show. Kadin Copland, from Nunavut played forward on the team.
McDonald got off to a shaky start, feeling the pressure to perform. But once she relaxed, her talent shone through.
"At the start, I was so nervous. I feel like I wasn't performing my best. Once I calmed down a bit and just played my game, I felt a lot better," she said.
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Though the show is airing now, the filming happened last summer. This season is the first with an all-women's squad, she explained. One memory that really sticks out for her is the team's road trip to Boston, Mass.
"I got to play in this big showcase in the U.S., it's the first time I've ever played in the U.S., for hockey," she said. "That was a great experience."
McDonald's watched the show since it aired, going back to some of her favourite memories of her time with the team. She says she doesn't have any regrets.
"I'm just so happy that I did it," she said. "It was a great opportunity, I felt I got more noticed in the hockey community. I can show what I can do … I feel like a totally different person from it."
HIt the Ice airs Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on APTN.
Written by Alex Brockman, based on an interview by Wanda McLeod, produced by Rachel Zelniker