(OOC: Curses, late again Ah well, I have an excuse this time. My church barbecue and me being completely dead-tired yesterday in general)
Plesetsk Cosmodrome To Reopen In June
MIRNYY - It would seem Uralica has spacefaring ambitions.
For the last two months, the Uralican Air Force has been working around the clock on getting the famous Plesetsk Cosmodrome, which is actually closer to former "closed town" Mirnyy within Northwest Uralica, up and running again.
"A lot of the equipment, while unused, was still very much operable," said Reijo Muurinen, who is in charge of the project. "Some of the equipment was kinda outdated anyway, so we took all that stuff out and are in the process of replacing it. It should be done sometime in late June."
The reopening of the Cosmodrome has brought forth rumours that Uralica may soon be reaching for the stars, so to speak.
Cleanup In Northwest Uralica Almost Complete
KOSLAN - Leakage from an old weapons depot near the Uralican town of Koslan, which caused the destruction of thousands of hectares of forest land, has almost been contained, according to project supervisor and Tribal Council member Janne Hirvonen.
"The latest report suggests that we are at about 96% completion," the Finn said. "The cleanup of the Mezen' River, which was the hardest part that required the most people, is 100% finished. The real issue now is the complete gutting and disassembly of the weapons depot. The military has been heavily involved in this part, to ensure that it's done right and without incident."
TvinkiZavod Learning The Hard Way
CHAYKOVSKY - It's tough being a fourth-tier team in an international league for sure. Just ask TvinkiZavod Chaykovsky, the twinkie-sponsored Kolmonen F team who entered the Siberian Trophy this season.
But in spite of the fact they've lost all but one of their four games in play (1-0-2 in league play and their only cup match was a loss as well), they have kept every match close.
"It's all about learning the hard way," said manager Yosif Makarin. "Perhaps by 2014, we will be playing in the Bolakliiga. It's hard to say, but we are getting better with every game."
Their next match is against the very talented Bamburgh FC. The team brought precocious young goalkeeper Anatoly Yakimkin in after a successful trial stint with the reserve club, one that saw TZC Reserves win five straight without allowing a goal.
Kurri Trophy Semifinal Draw
(1) HK Syktyvkar (won 4-0) vs. (7) Usovuoren JKK (won 4-3)
(4) CSKA Kirov (won 4-0) vs. (6) HK Jokerit (won 4-1)
Syktyvkar vs. Usovuori: Let me put it simply. Neither Usovuoren JKK nor Spartak Murmansk have the firepower necessary to take on powerhouse HK Syktyvkar. It wouldn't have mattered so much who won this, as HKS would be favoured to win anyway.
HK Syktyvkar in 4.
CSKA vs. Jokerit: This one will be a little closer. CSKA recovered from a slow start to finish top in the Southern Division. Jokerit finished second in the ultra-tough Western Division. This will be a classic.
CSKA in 7.
UIHL To Expand For 2010-2011
Each division will have eight teams starting next season, with the top four advancing to playoffs, eliminating the need for the top teams to have first-round byes. But there will be relegation as well, with the five teams going down that would have anyway. (These were JKK Kottila, HK Sosnogorsk, Dinamo Kirovo-Chepetsk, HK Kudymkar, and HK Berezniki)
Because of these relegations, there will actually be a significant shift in the league's makeup for next season:
(New teams in italics)
HK Sikkivukarin Jokerit
HK Sputnik Nizhny Tagil
CSKA Yekaterinburg (moved from South)
Alavartolan Jokerit (Nizhnevartovsk)
Kudymkar Wheat Kings
HK Orlov (Division I Champions)
As such, Division I will also expand. The lineup will be announced next Saturday.