Three of the four Alaskans playing in the Western Hockey League playoffs have already made their mark on the opening weekend of the major-junior circuit’s postseason.
Rookie winger Erik Felde of Anchorage assisted on the game-tying goal Saturday for the Tri-City Americans in their 2-1 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. That deadlocked the seven-game series at 1-1. Felde, 19, finished 10th in rookie scoring during the 72-game regular season, notching 24-28—52 totals in 72 games. With a plus-minus rating of +24, Felde also finished 15th in the league in that category. Seattle includes hulking winger Isak Quackenbush of Fairbanks, who is only 16 but goes 6-foot-4, 223 pounds. Quackenbush, who has not yet played in the playoffs, went 1-1—2 in 51 games during his rookie campaign.
Meanwhile, an older WHL hand, Everett Silvertips winger Moises Gutierrez of Anchorage, kick-started the playoffs Friday night with two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over visiting Spokane. Gutierrez, 20, a Pittsburgh Penguins draft choice who goes 6-4, 227, was 14th in the league in goals this season (his fifth in the circuit they call “The Dub’’) with 35-20—55 totals in 61 games. Friday, he sandwiched his two goals around one by Zack Dailey, 17, of Healy – Gutierrez assisted on Dailey’s goal. Dailey, a diminutive center (5-6, 160), earned 2-14—16 totals in 67 regular season games.
Everett owns a 2-0 lead over Spokane after Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win. The Silvertips were the top team in the league in the regular season with a 54-15-3 record for 111 points.