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NHL Goalie Matiss Kivlenieks kil-led In Fireworks Accident

A medical expert in Michigan says an post-mortem has decided that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast, and never a fall as authorities beforehand reported.

Police in Novi, Michigan, stated the mortar-style firework tilted barely and began to fireside towards folks close by Sunday night time. The 24-year-old Kivleniek was in a sizzling tub and tried to get clear with a number of different folks, police Lt. Jason Meier stated.

The fireplace division and EMTs received to the non-public residence shortly after 10 p.m. and took him to a hospital, the place he was pronounced de-ad, Meier stated. The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s workplace reported preliminary post-mortem outcomes Monday afternoon.

Prior to the post-mortem, police stated Kivlenieks was believed to have slipped and hit his head on concrete whereas working from a malfunctioning firework.

“At the moment, we’re pretty certain this was a tragic accident,” Meier stated.

Meier stated the post-mortem findings prompted officers to re-interview some witnesses. He stated police will proceed in search of to interview as many individuals as they’ll who have been current on the time.

“We’re starting to put together a pretty good picture of what occurred,” he stated, reiterating that police imagine Kivlenieks’s dea-th was unintended.

Meier stated police who responded to the emergency calls stated there was a “large gathering” on the residence Sunday night time however he didn’t have an estimate of how many individuals have been there or how many individuals police wish to communicate with.

Meier wouldn’t present the deal with of the property in Novi, a northern suburb of Detroit. A police report hasn’t been accomplished but.

The Blue Jackets and Latvian Hockey Federation introduced Kivlenieks’ dea-th, with the NHL membership saying it resulted from an obvious head harm in a fall. The group’s assertion made no point out of fireworks.

Columbus normal supervisor Jarmo Kekalainen tweeted: “Life is so precious and can be so fragile. Hug your loved ones today. RIP Matiss, you will be dearly missed.” Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson referred to as it a “devastating time” for the group.

“Kivi was an outstanding young man who greeted every day and everyone with a smile and the impact he had during his four years with our organization will not be forgotten,” he stated.

“What a tragic loss for all of us who knew him and I am thinking and praying for his family,” former Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno tweeted. “Heaven gained a darn good goalie and better person… Just, way too soon.”

Former Columbus defenseman David Savard discovered of it from Foligno.

“That was a brutal wakeup this morning,” Savard stated in French. “That was a good kid with a lot of talent who was going to be a part of the team next year or in the future. That’s extremely sad.”

Kivlenieks’ dea-th got here on the eve of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in Montreal, the place the Tampa Bay Lightning had an opportunity to clinch the championship towards the Canadiens on Monday night time.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated Kivlenieks’ “love for life and passion for the game will be deeply missed by all those who have been fortunate to have him as a teammate and a friend.”

The Latvian Hockey Federation referred to as Kivlenieks’ dea-th “a great loss not only for Latvian hockey but for the entire Latvian nation.”

Kivlenieks most lately represented Latvia this spring on the world hockey championship wherein he performed 4 video games. He performed two video games for the Blue Jackets and eight for the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters this previous season.

A local of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in May 2017 and performed eight video games for the membership total. He was seen as a doable No. 2 goaltender subsequent season if Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins is traded.

Kivlenieks was at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington final Tuesday as a visitor of IndyCar driver Alexander Rossi.

Rossi introduced that day he was going to race the Baja 1000 in Mexico in November, and Kivlenieks took a trip round Mid-Ohio in a Honda Ridgeline to assist promote each Rossi and Sunday’s IndyCar race.

“This hits hard,” Rossi tweeted. “Prayers to the family and the team.”

Associated Press Sports Writers Mitch Stacy and Jenna Fryer contributed.

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