Today Scrappy and I finally made it to and crossed the new IPFW footbridge over the river. This is a sizable walk just to get to the bridge, having to cross the Plex and follow California rd to get to it. On the north side of the bridge is a boat landing, and of course Scrappy had to go swimming before we proceeded. He also celebrated the crossing by peeing on the bridge just before we got off. Now here's where it ges fun, because the U. has made a riverwalk trail along which they have planted various trees (or counted existing ones) making a fascinating exhibition of I'm guessing 70 different varieties of trees, each with a plaque explaining tree, habitat, and interesting facts. It follows the river , around a pair of swampy inlets, behind the printing office into the central courtyard with its great bronze mastodon. It then turns, or will turn, as construction becomes ongoing at this point, up into a picnic area with tables and a wooden gazebo. Across from this is a daffodil garden and a small wooded patch with yet more plaqued specimens. Around this runs a sweeping sidewalk that circles back into the park; and beyond a hill on its far side are yet more plaques along the river, which we did not go to. This was already the longest walk we'd taken since my operation, and we still had to go home. Not to mention Mr. Boy has an aversion to being outside and stopping to rest. He barely stops in the middle of a poop, much less when I get tired. So back we went, encountering (in chronological order): three large ruts full of water, which he had to go through the middle of, drinking as he forged ahead; the largest squirrel's nest I've ever seen, and its nine (count 'em, nine) rowdy occupants; several geese which we tried to chase after they had seen us and took flight; a handfull of alleged paths to the water's edge, which Scrappy desperately wanted to dive into (he sure has overcome that reticence he had on our first trip back to the river); and finally we arrived back at the bridge. Once over, we went under the bridge so that I could reprise Scrappy's bridge christening; then Mr. Boy took another dip at the landing and we headed for home. Along the way we spotted our first ground hog of the season near the far side of the Plex in the feeder. Total time: estimated 1 hr 35-40 min. Distance, accordng to google earth, 3.16 miles (though it seemed more )to me. Still to be conquered: the path also winds down towards Coliseum, as well as the trail beyond the hill we saw.
YEAH, LOKOMOTIV!! The boys from Yaroslavl punched their ticket for the semis against MVD today with an 8-1 romp over Spartak that once again this season left the playoffs purged of Moscow teams after 2 rounds. Alexi Mikhnov had 2 goals and 3 assists to lead an attack that saw 7 players grab two points, including Richard Zednik and my boy Josef Vasicek, who each added a goal and an assist. The 8 goals came on just 29 shots, compared to 46 handled by Lokomotiv goalies Georgy Gelashvilli and (for the last 5 minutes) Alexander Lazushin.
I was looking at how the playoffs in the rest of the main European leagues were going. Here's a brief synopsis.
Austria Erste Bank Liga: Graz 99ers took the regular sason but got bounced in the first round. #2 Red Bull Salzburg and #4 Black Wings Linz have just kicked off the finals.
Czech Extraliga: HC Plzen wins the season by ten pts, and they are just starting the semi finals. In fact, unless I state otherwise, all of these leagues are just starting their semis.
Denmark AL Bank Ligaen: SonderjyskE won by 14 pts.
Finland SM-Liga: JVP Jyvaskyla won the season by two points. They are just going into what they (along with several of the other leagues) call the "pity playoffs"- instead of the 7th and 8th place teams getting in, they have an elimination round with the 7th - 11th (or more, in France) teams play in a round to see who gets those two spots.
France Ligue Magnus: Rouen took the season - a short, 27 game season, compared to the 54-game season most of the others play.
Germany Eishockey Liga: Eisbaren ( the polar bears) Berlin rolled to a 25-point triumph over second place Frankfurt in the season; Updates were behind here so I had to go to the league site, and to the best of my German, I think they are in the first round.
Italy Serie A: Renon won the season by 4.
Norway Get Ligaen: Valeringa Ishockey rolled to the season title.
Slovak Extraliga: Slovan Bratislava posted a 35-5-7 record and won the season title by 21 points.
Sweden Elitserien: HV-71 won by 3 points; traditional power MoDo missed the playoffs.
Swiss National League A: SC Bern by 1 point over Geneve Servette.
Interesting to note that the 2 teams mentioned to possibly leave their home leagues to join the KHL, Sweden's Skelleftea AIK finished 4th and lead their semifinal series; while Czech Rep.'s HC Energie Karlovy Vary is fighting to stay in the top Czech league. They are one of the 4 teams in what they call the play-out (and in 4th amongst them) where the last team in the play out will be replaced by the best team in the Czech 1 Liga (the top minor league team).