Players at the 4 Nations Cup could be fighting their toughest battles off the ice this week.
A sickness described as the flu began making its way through dressing rooms Tuesday.
“When we got to the rink we had quite a few people that were sick,” Team Canada head coach Perry Pearn said following his team’s 6-1 victory over Sweden Tuesday.
“The lineup went from having one extra forward dressed to finishing the game with 10.”
“We were falling like flies one period after another,” forward Mélodie Daoust said of the bug.
Canada isn’t the only team fighting the illness either.
“We’re in the same hotel as Finland and they were down people today as well,” Pearn said. “As the day went on, some people that played were sick earlier in the day and felt better (Tuesday), and then some were fine when they got to the rink and we sent them home before the game started.”
“Obviously there’s something going around.”
The timing couldn’t be worse for Team Canada. They have a short turnaround as they prepare to face the reigning Olympic champions Team USA Wednesday.
Both Pearn and Daoust said the sickness won’t affect their plans, aside from altering Wednesday’s pregame skate. All the team can do is wait and see how players are feeling Wednesday evening.
“We’ll just make sure that everybody that played as much as they did (Tuesday) will rest up,” Pearn said. “When you’re going to play four games in five days, the pregame skate is not an important part of the plan.”
Canadian forward Rebecca Johnston said every player is feeling the effects to a certain degree.
“I feel okay, right now,” she said. “I think everybody feels a bit wonky, but hopefully it’s just a 24-hour bug and we’ll be all good to go (Wednesday). It’s just about us getting our rest, our nutrition and making sure that all the healthy players are washing their hands and using Purell.”