Every year the warnings go out about the dangers of fireworks, and sadly, every year tragedy seems to strike.

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A young NHL goalie was killed this 4th of July weekend in Michigan when according to reports, he was the victim of a firework accident. Matiss Kivlenieks, who is the goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets, was at a private home in Novi, Michigan when the accident occurred.


Kivlenieks, who is just 24,was struck in the chest by a fireworks mortar blast, according to an autopsy. Early reports were that Kivlenieks slipped and hit his head while getting out of a hot tub at the private residence. Now, Novi Police Lt. Jason Meier has said that the particular mortar-style firework being used  tilted slightly and started to fire toward people. Kivlenieks, who was in the hot tub, attempted too get out of the was stuck in the chest.

Matiss Kivleniekes was a native of Riga, Latvia, Kivlenieks. He signed on  with the Blue Jackets as a free agent in May 2017. He had played two games for the Blue Jackets and eight for the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters during the past hockey season. It was said he was on track to secure the number 2 spot as a goalie for Blue Jackets next season with roster changes.

Players and teammates shared their reactions and thoughts on social media about the loss.  Deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement commenting on Kivleniekes saying his,

 “....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.”


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