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Blue Jackets G Matiss Kivlenieks Dies in Accident

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks has died after a tragic accident, the team confirms. He was 24.

The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed the news this morning, saying the Riga, Latvia native suffered an apparent head injury in a fall.

Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson released a statement on the tragedy.

“We are shocked and saddened by the loss of Matiss Kivlenieks, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his mother, Astrida, his family and friends during this devastating time. 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.”

The native of Latvia went undrafted but signed a three-year entry level contract with the Blue Jackets prior to the 2017-18 season, spending the majority of his time in the American Hockey League with the Cleveland Monsters.

Kivlenieks re-signed with a two-year deal prior to the 2020-21 campaign and appeared in eight games over the past two seasons with the Blue Jackets, posting a 2-2-2 record with a 3.09 goals-against average and a 0.899 save percentage.

Kivlenieks played for Latvia at the recent World Hockey Championship taking place in his home country, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.18 GAA. He made 38 saves to pickup the shutout and the shocking win over the eventual gold-medal winning Canadians in the opener of the tournament.

Steve Auld

Steve Auld

My name is Steve and I am from the very noble Auld clan of Niagara, where we respect our elders and follow the golden rules: elbows up, and keep your stick on the ice. When not tearing up beer league or ball hockey, I enjoy the occasional downtime I have with my fiancée and son. Love me some music too, all kinds. If you feel I did a good job or you want to argue, feel free to leave a comment!
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