Hildebrand shines as Raiders down Blazers

Ashton Tait of the Kamloops Blazers prepares for the opening faceoff against Hayden Pakkala of the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre. -- Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald

It was another top performance between the pipes for Max Hildebrand as the Prince Albert Raiders skated to a 3-1 win over the Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday night at the Art Hauser Centre.

Raider head coach Jeff Truitt says he was pleased with how Prince Albert played.

“I liked the result and I liked our effort for the most part. I thought that we skated the checks. We utilized each other pretty well on our breakouts. We got to the weak side of the ice, which we needed to do. We got some shots on the net with some traffic, which was good. So pretty good effort overall.”

Luke Moroz would break the seal on the scoreboard with his second goal of the season just 2:39 into the contest. Brayden Dube would be credited with the lone helper.

It was Moroz’s first career goal scored at the Art Hauser Centre with his only other WHL coming in Medicine Hat on Dec. 2.

“It felt good getting the team going early.” Moroz said about his goal. “Doober (Brayden Dube) passed it, (I was) screaming for it in the slot, and kind of just shot as soon as I got it.”

Truitt says Moroz has been adjusting to the WHL in his 16-year-old season,

“When Luke has the puck and he’s got time to make plays, he’s an elite, skilled guy. There’s no doubt his awareness is getting better. And he’s deciding to shoot the puck a little bit more, which is good. He’s a great playmaker.”

After a holding call against Kamloops rearguard Ryan Michael, the Raider power play would double the team’s lead.

Eric Johnston would first a slap shot from just above the left circle that would beat Kamloops netminder Dylan Ernst for the Raider captain’s fifth goal of the season. Sloan Stanick would receive a helper on the play.

Sloan Stanick would dazzle the fans at the Art Hauser Centre with a highlight reel goal at the 6:05 mark of the third period.

After coming out of the penalty box, the overager would be tripped up by a Kamloops defender, but got back on his skates and put a move on Blazer goaltender Dylan Ernst with his 13th goal of the season at the 6:05 mark of the third period.

Harrison Lodewyk picked up the lone helper on the play.

Kamloops would cut the lead to just two at the 18:53 mark of the third period.

The Blazers would pull the goaltender and Jordan Keller would strike for his eighth goal of the season. Dylan Sydor and Connor Levis assisted on the play.

Max Hildebrand made 37 saves for the Raiders to earn the win. Dylan Ernst made 30 stops for Kamloops

The Raiders return to action on Friday when they welcome the Kelowna Rockets for the final game before the holiday break. Puck drops at 7 p.m.