Heartwarming reception

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

THOMPSON -- She has already enjoyed a warm homecoming, and Lisa Roy has not even hit the ice yet.

"I'll have friends and family and former students and former colleagues, curling club people everywhere I go," the Thompson native said yesterday. "It's just been great since we got off the plane (Monday). Everyone seems pretty excited that we're here.

"This has been a goal of mine since they announced it in Souris last year."

Roy, the third for St. Vital's fourth-seeded Kristy Jenion, will face Thompson's Debbie Cripps in her second game of the Scott Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling championship here today.

"I worked with those ladies, I curled with those ladies," said Roy, now a teacher in Morden. "I babysat for some of them. I mean, I couldn't ask for anything better than what I'm about to experience."

Jenion is hoping to have the fans on her side, at least whenever Cripps is not her opponent.

"This is really important for Lisa," she said. "She's really excited about it, and we're hoping that we might have some of the crowd behind us. So it might be a really exciting venue to actually win in because of Lisa's history here."

Of course, the homecoming may have been even warmer after Roy suffered vision problems when some idiot threw a bottle through her windshield on the highway last summer. Roy, 28, has since overcome those problems, though.

"Lots of people have adjusted to similar situations, with Dave Boehmer (who has one eye) being a prime example," said Bob Jenion, Kristy's dad and coach. "She's finally at the stage where she doesn't think about it anymore."

Nor does she want to be reminded. Bob Jenion politely requested that the team not be asked about it this week so it can focus on the curling. Roy did allow that she is OK now.

Kristy Jenion, however, has been thinking about that loss to clubmate Jennifer Jones in last year's Scott final "for 365 days.

"As soon as we got off the ice, we were talking about this. So it's been a long year planning and preparing to get ready. Now, it's some unfinished business."

Also supported by second Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott, Jenion did not enjoy a banner year on the cashspiel circuit.

"We had our ups and downs," admitted Jenion, 26. "We played in tougher events. We played a lot of good games. Unfortunately, we've got nothing to show on paper. But that's OK. We were really only focusing on zones anyway. This was the most important thing to us. Getting that (Scott) spot in December was huge, so now, we're ready for this."

And her foursome will not have to deal with Jones this time around, as her clubmate is already headed to the national Scott as Team Canada, a fact that still leaves Jenion somewhat unsettled.

"We've got some mixed emotions on that," she said. "It was a great to see a Manitoba team win. We knew they were a good team, but it also makes it a little tougher knowing that we could have been there and could have been playing in that scenario as well. It was bittersweet, for sure."


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