EVERETT – Two Everett Silvertips alumni defensemen have been named to rosters for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, with Radko Gudas skating for the Czech Republic and Ivan Baranka making his second straight Olympics with Team Slovakia. The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held from February 7-23 in Sochi, Russia.
Gudas, 23, is currently in his first full season with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. In 37 games this season, Gudas has collected 11 points (2g/9a), a +3 rating, 86 penalty minutes and ranks among the league leaders with 143 hits. He appeared in 22 NHL games last season after his first call-up from the American Hockey League, where he appeared in back-to-back league finals and won a Calder Cup Championship with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012.
Before becoming Tampa Bay’s third-round pick (66th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, the Prague, Czech Republic native spent one memorable season with the Silvertips. Gudas compiled 37 points (7g/30a), 151 penalty minutes and a +45 rating as Everett tied for the best record in the Western Conference in 2009-10.
Baranka, 28, will play in his second straight Olympic hockey tournament after helping Slovakia to its best-ever finish in the 2010 games. The Slovaks upset Sweden in the quarterfinal round in Vancouver before eventually falling to Finland in the Bronze Medal Game to finish in fourth place. In addition to his two Olympic appearances, Baranka has represented Slovakia in three IIHF World Championship tournaments, two World Junior Championships and the World Under-18 Championship.
A second-round NHL draft choice (#50 overall) of the New York Rangers in 2003, Baranka played two seasons in Everett from 2003 to 2005. He finished his WHL career with 38 points (10g/28a) in 122 regular season games and had an additional 12 points (6g/6a) in 31 playoffs contests – 20 of which came during Everett’s run to the 2004 WHL Championship Series. He played three pro seasons in the AHL and appeared in one NHL game with the Rangers before returning to Europe, where he is currently in his sixth year playing in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
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