Expecting mom still playin'

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE -- Somebody find a whistle and call the Renelle Bryden rink for too many players on the ice.

At first glance, there are only four women out there but, on closer inspection, lead Shannon Mattheis sports what is known in Hollywood as a 'bump.'

She's six months pregnant and still curling.

"I've had to make a few adjustments," Mattheis said yesterday, after Bryden nipped Edmonton's Cindy Serna 6-3 in the afternoon draw at the Alberta Scott Tournament of Hearts.

"At times, with sweeping, I get a bit winded but I just sit down for a bit and I'm fine."

The expectant mom, who already has an eight-year-old son, even brought a new tradition to the team: A bag of Real Fruit, juice-filled gummy candies, is never far from reach during a game.

It started at southerns in Airdrie, where the Bryden crew took the long road to the provincials, qualifying out of the Cs.

"One of her good friends was watching us and told (Mattheis) she wasn't having enough to eat to help her energy," Bryden explained.

"She was just eating some junk out there so she got a whole box of Real Fruit and we have a bag every game."

Added Mattheis: "It's our lucky snack. It's done good for us."

Now that's an understatement.

Bryden, Mattheis, third Nancy Smith and second Carolyn Derbyshire are the lone 4-0 team after dispatching Deb Santos of Edmonton 4-3 in the morning draw.

Defending champ Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary fell from undefeated status, after losing 9-6 to Edmonton's Cathy King. Kleibrink beat Grande Prairie's Renee Sonnenberg 11-4 to start the day.

"It's a nice record," Bryden said. "We didn't think we'd have this record here but we'll take it."

Admitting both rinks made errors, the skip noted her match against Serna was not well-played.

There were picks, flashes and crashes but Bryden survived.

Coming home up one but without the hammer, she played a defensive 10th and managed to split two rocks at the top of the 12-foot.

All Serna had to do was draw to the eight to tie the game and force the extra end. But she threw short and gave Bryden a steal of two and the game.

ON THE BOARD: The Diane Foster rink got its first win of the week, dumping Grande Prairie's Jodi Busche 10-6.


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