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Columbus Mourns Death Of Blue Jackets Goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks

Kole Northup visits a makeshift memorial in front of Nationwide Arena Monday, July 5, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio, to remember Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks who died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast in what authorities described Monday as a tragic accident on the Fourth of July.
Jay LaPrete
/
AP
Kole Northup visits a makeshift memorial in front of Nationwide Arena Monday, July 5, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio, to remember Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks who died of chest trauma from an errant fireworks mortar blast in what authorities described Monday as a tragic accident on the Fourth of July.

Columbus Blue Jackets executives call it a "devastating time" for the team following the weekend death of goalie Matiss Kivlenieks.

The 24-year-old Latvian played was killed in a weekend fireworks accident at the Michigan home of Blue Jackets assistant coach Manny Legace. Kivlenieks died from what police call a percussive injury when an arrant fireworks mortar hit him in the chest.

Novi, Michigan Police Lt. Jason Meier said Kivlenieks was hit while trying to exit a hot tub.

"We were under the impression from eye witness testimony that as he was exiting the hot tub he fell, so the initial thought was head trauma from the fall. But obviously with the medical examiner's report we've learned otherwise," Meier said Monday.

Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson called it a “devastating time” for the team.

Fans gathers outside Nationwide Arena on Monday to pay tribute to Kivlenieks.

He was also honored with a moment of silence at Monday's Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.