Goalie Killed By Wayward Firework

Police are still investigating the freak fireworks death of an NHL goalie.

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks was at a party hosted by his coach in Michigan Sunday night  July 4th when he was hit in the chest with a powerful firework. Police in Novi say Kivlenieks was in a hot tub when the mortar-style firework  and struck him in the chest.  The impact of the blast causing trauma to his chest and lungs. Police are calling this a “tragic accident.”

The 24-year-old hockey player spent the last four seasons playing with the Blue Jackets and the Cleveland Monsters. Monsters’ General Manager Chris Clark released a statement, saying Kivlenieks approached the game and every day with joy and positivity and his presence will be missed by all.


FILE – Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks (80) is shown during the second period of an NHL hockey game in New York, in this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, file photo. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Latvian Hockey Federation said Monday, July 5, 2021, that 24-year-old goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks has died. 

A medical examiner in Michigan says an autopsy has determined he died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast. 

Police in Novi, Michigan, said the mortar-style firework tilted slightly and struck Kivlenieks while he was in a hot tub.