NHL goalie Matiss Kivlenieks dies at 24 in fireworks accident, medical examiner’s office says

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Kivlenieks, 24, died from a firework mortar explosion and chest trauma, according to Inspector Mitch Brown of the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The death was deemed accidental after a full autopsy was conducted by Oakland County chief medical examiner Dr Ljubisa Dragovic, Brown said.

Lt. Jason Meier of the Novi Police Department told CNN that the chest injury from the fireworks resulted in internal injuries.

Earlier on Monday, Meier said there appeared to be a malfunction that sent the fireworks towards people. Kivlenieks and others were in a hot tub and when they tried to get out, Kivlenieks slipped, fell and hit his head against the concrete, Meier said.

Emergency responders were dispatched for an injury call at 10:13 p.m. Kivlenieks was taken to Ascension Providence Hospital and pronounced dead, Meier said.

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Kivlenieks on the ice after an American Hockey League game between the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins and the Cleveland Monsters on December 13, 2019.
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Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said: “We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we offer our deepest condolences to his mother, Astrida, family and friends during this time. devastating period. Kivi was an exceptional young man. who greeted everyone every day and with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten. “

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman offered his condolences on behalf of the league.

“The National Hockey League was saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks,” Bettman said in a statement.

“On behalf of the NHL family, we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and teammates both in the Blue Jackets organization and in his homeland of Latvia. His love for life and his passion for the sport will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to have him as a teammate and friend. “

Kivlenieks signed with Columbus as a free agent in 2017. In eight career games with the team, he is 2-2-2 with a 3.09 goals against average (GAA).

From 2017-21, the goaltender played for Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate the Cleveland Monsters, where he was 33-35-9 with a 3.31 GPA and three. shutouts in 85 career games.

Kivlenieks has represented Latvia at several international tournaments, including the world championships in May and June where in four games he earned a brace with an average of 2.18 and a shutout. The shutout came in Latvia’s first-ever victory over Canada on day one of the tournament.

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