Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks dies in accident after ‘firework malfunction’

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Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday from an obvious head damage he suffered throughout a fall. He was 24.

Police in Novi, Michigan, initially advised The Related Press that Kivlenieks slipped and fell whereas fleeing a scorching tub as a result of a “firework malfunction” from a mortar-style firework and hit his head on concrete. Following an post-mortem by the Oakland County Medical Examiner, the AP confirmed that the reason for loss of life of from chest trauma attributable to a firework mortar blast.

Earlier within the day, in a press release, the Blue Jackets known as it a “tragic accident,” including that medical personnel arrived on the scene to deal with Kivlenieks however he died “a short while later.”

“We’re shocked and saddened by the lack of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we lengthen our deepest sympathies to his mom, Astrida, his household and pals throughout this devastating time,” Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson mentioned. “Kivi was an excellent younger man who greeted day-after-day and everybody with a smile and the influence he had throughout his 4 years with our group is not going to be forgotten.”

Life is so valuable and may be so fragile. Hug your family members at this time. RIP Matiss, you can be dearly missed.

— Jarmo Kekalainen (@jkekalainen) July 5, 2021

The Riga, Latvia, native was in Ohio final week for Mid-Ohio, an IndyCar street race, and partook in an off-roading ride-along with IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi. He had simply returned from Latvia and deliberate to spend the summer season in Columbus to coach. It’s unclear why Kivlenieks was in Michigan on the time of his loss of life.

“The Nationwide Hockey League was saddened to study of the sudden and tragic passing of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned in a press release. “On behalf of the NHL household, we lengthen our deepest sympathies to his household, pals and teammates in each the Blue Jackets group and his native nation of Latvia. His love for all times and fervour for the sport will probably be deeply missed by all those that have been lucky to have him as a teammate and a good friend.”

Generally known as “Kivi” to teammates, Kivlenieks was signed as a free agent in Could 2017 by the Blue Jackets. He made his NHL debut on Jan. 19, 2020, and stopped 31 of 32 photographs for a 2-1 win over the Rangers at Madison Sq. Backyard. In eight profession NHL video games, he compiled a 2-2-2 file with a 3.09 goals-against common and .899 save share. This season he made two begins, each towards the Crimson Wings, going 1-1-0  with a .901 save share. With the Blue Jackets AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, he posted a 33-35-9 mark, 3.31 GAA, .896 SV% and three shutouts in 85 profession video games

“I received a textual content from Nick Foligno this morning,” David Savard, a member of the Blue Jackets up till the commerce deadline, mentioned in a translated interview. “We performed collectively a very long time. That’s extraordinarily unhappy information. That’s a man who was near the groups, he traveled with the workforce all yr lengthy (as a member of the taxi squad). That was a brutal wake-up this morning. That was a great child with plenty of expertise who was going to be part of the workforce subsequent yr or sooner or later. That’s extraordinarily unhappy.”

In Could, Kivlenieks suited up for Latvia on the 2021 IIHF World Championships the place he went 1-2 with a 2.18 GAA, .922 SV% and one shutout in 4 video games. That one win was a 2-0 shutout over the eventual champions, Canada. He stopped all 38 photographs he noticed.

Teammates and the hockey world reacted on Twitter to the tragic information:

Phrases are onerous to search out proper now, however the day we put the identical jersey on meant that we’d be household eternally. When my youngsters play Kivi “the child” in purpose it would have a larger which means!! RIP child, love you brother 😢 #cbj #familyforever

— Nathan Gerbe (@NathanGerbe14) July 5, 2021

Seeing all the gorgeous tributes to Matiss solely additional cements what sort of individual he was! What a tragic loss for all of us who knew him and I’m pondering and praying for his household. Heaven gained a darn good goalie and higher individual… Simply, approach too quickly.

RIP Kivi! 🙏😢❤️

— Nick Foligno (@NickFoligno) July 5, 2021

Devastating loss for the #CBJ household, the followers and the complete hockey group. However above all horrible loss for the Kivlenieks household. This was an excellent younger man that’s gone approach too quickly. Relaxation in peace Kivi.🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

— Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre aka “The Hyphenator” (@JLGP34) July 5, 2021

Relaxation In Peace Kivi. You have been one of many nicest folks I’ve met via this nice sport. We’ll all miss the power and love for all times that you just possessed. My prayers exit to your loved ones, hopefully they may see the influence you had on everybody who knew you ❤️#SticksOutForKivi

— Scott Harrington (@S_Harrington06) July 5, 2021

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