Sonnenberg rink struggling with medical problems

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

It would be best if lead Tina MacDonald avoided black cats and ladders for the next two days.

She's the only one of Renee Sonnenberg's supporting cast that, keep your fingers crossed, has been lucky enough to avoid a medical problem.

It all started when second Twyla Bruce had an inflammation around her right eye.

"When I went to the hospital on Tuesday, I saw a lady with a patch over her eye,'' said Bruce. "I was thinking to myself, 'oh God, no ... I hope that's not what I'm going to look like when I leave.' ''

True. Nobody needs a patch on their aiming eye.

A squirt of Polysporin eased the problem, but Bruce still cannot wear her contacts. Which, as it turns out, may not be such a bad thing.

"Actually, I can see better without them,'' said Bruce.

Then, it was third Nikki Smith's turn.

She developed an inner-ear infection and headed out to the medicentre on Thursday night.

"We're pulling into Sherwood Park,'' said Smith. "It looked a bit weird because there were no lights on. Turns out there was a power failure where the clinic's located. Just my luck.''

After finding out next week's Canada Cup is not an Olympic qualifier, Smith went to the drugstore yesterday morning and got a decongestant.

"I could only hear about half of what Renee was saying,'' said Smith, whose plugged-up ear is starting to clear. "So, I only listened to the parts I wanted to hear.''

Despite all the adversity, the team managed to clinch a semifinal spot last night.

"We're not relaxing,'' said Sonnenberg. "We're going to keep plugging ahead and remember what we're doing well.''

After Crystal Rumberg walloped Renelle Bryden 11-4, Bryden summed up the situation of the fellow Calgarians best.

"As long as we're still alive, we'll keep pluggin' away,'' said Bryden.


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