Matiss Kivlenieks, left, was man of the match when Latvia beat Canada for the first time ever earlier this year ©Getty Images

Latvian ice hockey goalkeeper Matiss Kivlenieks was killed age 24 in a fireworks tragedy, according to authorities in Michigan.

An initial autopsy found that Kivlenieks died from chest trauma after being hit by a firework.

The injuries were sustained yesterday, July 4, which is Independence Day in the United States.

Kivlenieks is said to have been in a hot tub at a party when there was a misfunction and fireworks were sent in the direction of people.

Police in Novi, Michigan, where the incident occurred, have called it "a tragic accident".

Kivlenieks played for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the National Hockey League, in addition to Latvia's national team.

At the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Riga earlier this year, Kivlenieks played in four games.

That included saving all 38 shots he faced when Latvia beat Canada for the first time.

Kivlenieks won the man-of-the-match award following that game.

"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," Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson said. 

"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."