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Former Warrior Mateychuk’s AHL playoff run comes to an end with Game 7 overtime loss

Cleveland falls 3-2 to McIlrath, Hershey Bears in deciding game of Eastern Conference Final
Former Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Denton Mateychuk saw his playoff run with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters come to an end on Wednesday night with an overtime loss in Game 7.

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM -- Denton Mateychuk’s hockey season has finally come an end.

The former Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman and the Cleveland Monsters dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to the Hershey Bears in Game 7 of the American Hockey League Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night, capping a storied campaign for the Warriors captain.

Mateychuk’s arrival in Cleveland shortly after the Warriors celebrated the first Western Hockey League championship in team history kicked off a heroic comeback by the Monsters, who came a single win away from pulling off a reverse sweep.

The Monsters trailed the best-of-seven series 3-0 and were down to their last life when Mateychuk played his first AHL playoff game, and their 3-2 win in that contest changed the tone of the series.

Mateychuk picked up his first AHL assist in Cleveland’s 5-1 win in Game 5 and then assisted on the overtime winner in the Monster’s 3-2 victory in Game 6.

That set the stage for Game 7 in Hershey, and right off the hop, Mateychuk contributed once again. The Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick drew the primary assist as former Edmonton Oil Kings forward Trey Fix-Wolansky opened scoring with 58 seconds left in the first period.

Working on the power play, Mateychuk found Fix-Wolansky at the side of the Bears net, and he’d bang home his own rebound to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.

You can check out that goal right here.

Hershey took a 2-1 lead into the third period, and after Cleveland tied things up with five minutes remaining, Garrett Roe scored the overtime winner for the Bears at the 7:38 mark.

Hershey captain Dylan McIlrath -- who played for the Warriors from 2008-2012 -- had a shot on net and was even in plus-minus.

The Warriors connections don’t end there, either, as former standout forward Cody Beach was one of the referees in Game 7.

Now, Mateychuk turns his attention to an off-season preparing for his professional career in earnest.

The 19-year-old could return to the Warriors as an overager next season, but as his performance in the AHL postseason would indicate -- three assists in four must-win games while receiving power play time -- that’s unlikely nearly to the point of impossibility.

Instead, Mateychuk will undoubtedly receive a long look at Blue Jackets camp this fall and should he not crack their line-up, will likely end up in Cleveland full time.

McIlrath and the Bears will now have a chance to defend their AHL championship in the Calder Cup Final when they take on the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

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