Firework accident that killed NHL goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was at coach's house, team says

    Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died Sunday at age 24.

    (CNN)Matiss Kivlenieks, a goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, died Sunday night after a fireworks accident at the home of the team's goaltending coach, a spokesperson for the organization said Tuesday.

    Kivlenieks was a guest at coach Manny Legace's home in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, for a party celebrating Legace's daughter's wedding, a spokesperson for the Blue Jackets said. Kivlenieks attended the July 4 party with Blue Jackets teammate and fellow Latvian Elvis Merzlikins.
    Kivlenieks, 24, died from a fireworks mortar blast and chest trauma, according to Inspector Mitch Brown of the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office.
      The death was ruled accidental after a full autopsy was conducted by the Oakland County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic, Brown said.
        Novi Police Department Lt. Jason Meier told CNN that the chest injury from the fireworks resulted in internal injuries.
        Meier said Tuesday that a fireworks mortar shot over the top of the hot tub where Kivlenieks was sitting. "What occurred was they were lighting off what looks like a nine-shot mortar box," Meier said. "And at one point the box tipped up the final two mortars."
        Kivlenieks tried to flee, but the final shot appears to have hit him in the chest area, according to Meier.
          Merzlikins, also a goaltender, shared a message for Kivlenieks on Instagram.
          "My little brother, what to say, I really loved you, you were the little brother for me that I took care of," he wrote late Monday night. "I really love you, I'll miss you, we had our last basketball game in the pool and we enjoyed before you left me right after."
          Legace, 48, has not commented on the situation, according to the Blue Jackets organization.
          Before being named the Blue Jackets goaltending coach in July of 2018, Legace spent five seasons in the same position for the club's American Hockey League affiliates, the Cleveland Monsters and Springfield Falcons. Legace coached Kivlenieks in Cleveland in 2017.
          Emergency responders were dispatched for an injury call at 10:13 p.m. Kivlenieks was taken to Ascension Providence Hospital and pronounced dead, Meier said.