NORFOLK, VA – Former Silvertips defenseman Radko Gudas became the first former Silvertip to win an American Hockey League Calder Cup Championship Saturday as the Norfolk Admirals completed a four-game sweep of the Toronto Marlies in the AHL Championship Series. Gudas and the Admirals went 15-3 in the playoffs and finished their cup run with ten consecutive victories, fitting for a team that enjoyed the longest winning streak in North American pro hockey history during the regular season.
Gudas, 21, becomes the first Silvertips alum to hoist the Calder Cup as an AHL Champion. In 16 postseason games this spring, the 6-foot, 205-pound blueliner registered three assists, a +9 rating, 14 penalty minutes and 21 shots on goal.
The Championship caps a dominant season for the Admirals, top affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Norfolk ran away with the AHL’s regular season title thanks in part to a 28-game winning streak to close the regular season. The Admirals then went on to dispatch the Manchester Monarchs and Connecticut Whale in the first two rounds of the playoffs before sweeping the St. John’s IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Finals to reach the league finals for the first time in their 12-year history. Norfolk then completed a second-consecutive sweep against Toronto in the Calder Cup Finals, beating the Marlies 3-1, 4-2, 1-0 in overtime and finally 6-1 in the clinching game on Saturday.
The hard-hitting Gudas was selected by the Lightning in the third round (167th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft after spending the 2009-10 WHL campaign with the Silvertips. A native of Prague, Czech Republic, he turned in a memorable single season in green & silver. Gudas totaled 37 points (7g/30a), 151 penalty minutes and a +45 rating that year, ranking him second only to Ryan Murray’s +51 for the team record in career plus/minus rating. In two AHL seasons in Norfolk, he has totaled 37 points (11g/26a), 260 penalty minutes and a +34 rating in 149 career games.
For more coverage of the 2012 AHL Calder Cup Finals, visit www.theahl.com.