Scotties front-runners battle through

Amber Holland's rink had to make do Tuesday without second Tammy Schneider, who was out with a...

Amber Holland's rink had to make do Tuesday without second Tammy Schneider, who was out with a strained hamstring. Jolene Campbell, left, subbed for Schneider. (Reuters)

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:20 AM ET

RED DEER, ALTA. - Winning a Scotties championship is tough enough.

But when the front-runners have to deal with a flu bug that’s sweeping this event and an injury to a regular player, it makes it that much tougher.

B.C. third Sasha Carter was back on the ice after taking Monday off. Her skip, Kelly Scott, battled through some queasiness on Monday.

So did Newfoundland skip Heather Strong.

And Team Canada second Tammy Schneider missed another start after suffering a hamstring strain in the second end of Monday night’s game.

“We just thought we’d do it game-by-game,” said Team Canada skip Amber Holland, whose team continues to lead the pack. “This is our four-in-a-row stretch, so we didn’t want to push it, for sure. We’ll kinda chat with her and see how she’s doing.”

Fifth Jolene Campbell has filled in while the team waits for Schneider’s injury to heal. The forced substitution seems to have had little impact on team chemistry.

“She’s still trying to pump our tires even though we’re trying to pump hers,” said Holland about Campbell. “She’s played a few spiels with us, so it’s not like we just popped somebody out that we don’t know what she brings to the team. We’re all pretty comfortable.”

For a team that was lightly-regarded based on a sub-par cahspiel season, they’re doing just fine.

“There’s still some ups and downs,” Holland said. “We’re still not playing as well as we could. It’s about making the right shots at the right time, not necessarily making them all.”

Schneider went for treatment Tuesday morning and is champing at the bit to get back on the ice.

“It’ll be a game-time decision,” said Schneider. “The physio said it’s not going to cause any more damage. It’ll just be a comfort level, to see if I can play and sustain a whole game.

“When I was at the physio treatment, we got two and stole four, so Merv (coach Fonger) told me he’s going to lock me in the room tonight.”

While the rest of the field if falling further back, Team Canada has been able to battle through the adversity and keep on the inside track to a playoff position.

Carter felt somewhat drained after missing all of Monday with the flu. Considering the team is in a four-straight draw stretch, Carter needed the rest.

“I’m a bit weaker because of it,” said Carter, who’s four months pregnant. “We had the doctor come last night, so everything’s fine. I just had to get over this bug sooner, rather than later, so that was reasurring.

“The team wanted me to play. I kinda said, yeah but I don’t want to be burnt by Thursday. We’ll work it out.”

The flu bug hit the Territories rink hardest as both skip Kerry Galusha and fifth Wendy Miller were unable to answer the bell for the morning draw.

That meant they had to field a three-person lineup with third Sharon Cormier taking over throwing skip rocks.

“Wendy started throwing up in the middle of the night — we didn’t know about it until this morning,” said Cormier. “She just didn’t get any sleep throughout the night.

“Kerry started feeling nauseous about 7 a.m. I didn’t know she wouldn’t be playing until I got into the van to go to the rink. It was tough on Kerry. She wanted to play.”

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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