The third tryout was the charm for Tianna Walkus.
After two previous attempts, Walkus was selected this year amongst many other elite players from around B.C. to represent Team B.C. at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship (NAHC) in Cowichan, which was held from May 1-6.
Walkus has been playing hockey since she was six-years-old.
When asked how she first developed an interested in hockey, she said seeing her older brothers play made her fall in love with the sport. She has four older brothers who all played rep hockey with the North Island Eagles. They now play for the North Island Capitals.
Walkus started playing as a novice in house league, which she said was really fun. “I made a lot of friends.”
Walkus found she wanted to play more competitively afterwards, and successfully tried out for the Eagles’ atom rep team.
She continued to play rep hockey from there, and ended up winning her first banner with the bantam rep team during the 2015-2016 season.
Winning the playoff banner was exciting, she said, adding provincials was also a good experience because “the level of play was high.”
Walkus was the only girl on the bantam team that year.
This season she played for the Tri-Port Wild in the female rec league, but is planning to tryout for the midget Eagles next season.
At the NAHC this year, Team B.C. took the Bronze Medal after going into triple overtime with Team Alberta with a final score of 2-1.
Team B.C. was ranked first overall through the tournament but fell short in the semis against Team Saskatchewan losing 4-3. Prior to that game, when Team B.C. played Team Saskatchewan, they won 5-0.
Walkus received a player of the game MVP after the game played between Team B.C. and Team Alberta. The game ended in a 4-2 win for Team B.C. where Walkus scored the first goal.
Walkus said she wants to continue playing, whether recreationally or at a university level, after she graduates high school.
When asked if she had any advice for female hockey players looking to find success playing at a high level, she said above all else you have to “work hard for what you want.”