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Cleveland Monsters ‘devastated’ by death of Matiss Kivlenieks in Fourth of July fireworks accident

Goalie played in over 80 games for the Monsters over the years
FILE - Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks (80) is shown during the second...
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.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 7:59 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Monsters issued a statement on Monday in reaction to the passing of 24-year old Matiss Kivlenieks who was killed in a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July.

Autopsy: NHL goalie Matiss Kivlenieks died of chest trauma from fireworks blast

“The Cleveland Monsters are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Matiss Kivlenieks and send our heartfelt condolences to the Kivlenieks family and to all of his teammates and friends at this time.

“We are devastated by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and send our condolences to his family, teammates, and friends at this time,” said Monsters General Manager Chris Clark. “Matiss approached the game and every day with joy and positivity and his presence will be missed by all. The impact Matiss made on the Cleveland Monsters organization and each of us individually will not be forgotten.”

Kivlenieks played in only two games with the Monsters last year, but spent a lot of time with them before that. He played 85 career games with the Monsters going back to the 2017-2018 season.

He was killed on Sunday night when an errant firecracker struck him in the chest. Paramedics could not save him.

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