Renee Sonnenberg's rink had its first practice yesterday afternoon at the Fort Rouge Curling Club, which was kind of like putting the broom behind the rock.
The Edmonton foursome had yesterday off because it was the first to qualify for today's championship round of the $50,000 Casinos of Winnipeg Women's Classic.
'DOESN'T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN'
Sonnenberg scored three in the 10th end late Saturday to beat former Winnipegger Kelly Scott, who now lives in Kelowna, B.C., 9-8 in an A-side qualifier.
"They made one mistake and we took full advantage, so that was really nice," Sonnenberg said after yesterday's practice session.
"It doesn't happen very often, not against teams like this."
Until this fall, Sonnenberg had been with the same group of women for nine years, and together they won Alberta women's championships in 1999 and 2001.
Two members of the team decided to take this winter off, so Sonnenberg and lead Tina McDonald found Sonnenberg's sister, Nikki Smith, to play third and Twyla Bruce, with whom Sonnenberg had played in the early 1990s, to suit up at second.
"I knew them all, but they didn't really know each other," Sonnenberg said.
"I'm impressed with how we're playing together."
Sonnenberg and McDonald actually live in Grande Prairie, Alta., Smith is from Calgary and Bruce is from Edmonton, so yesterday's practice was their first.
"Today was actually our first-ever team practice per se, where all four of us threw practice rocks together," Sonnenberg said.
"But we've gelled really well."
SIX PACK: Sherry Anderson can't remember the last time she scored six in an end.
She can remember, however, the last time she stole six in an end.
"We were playing in the men's super league in Prince Albert years ago, and we were laying eight when the guy went to throw his last rock," Anderson laughed.
"He hit something because he said, 'I'm not throwin' a draw.' So we stole six, but it was a big joke."
Anderson stole six again yesterday afternoon in a B-side qualifier.
Kelly Scott wrecked on a draw attempt with her last rock in the eighth end, allowing Anderson to cruise to a 9-1 triumph and a spot in today's championship round.
"It's nice (to qualify) after losing your first game," Anderson said.
"You have to win five and that's always nice. It shows you're on a bit of a roll and you're playing well."