Fallen Blue Jackets goalie remembered as friend, hero
(AP) - Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was hailed as a friend and hero during a memorial service for the player who died on the Fourth of July from an errant fireworks mortar blast.
Authorities have said the firework at a private home northwest of Detroit tilted slightly and started to fire toward people nearby. Kivlenieks was in a hot tub and was trying to move out of the way of the firework when he was struck.
Fellow Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins, a close friend of the 24-year-old Kivlenieks, told the mourners on Thursday that his teammate saved him and his pregnant wife the night he was killed.
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