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1980s Gopher Defenseman Shopek Loses Battle With Cancer

04/21/2014, 10:15am CDT
By By Minnesota Hockey Journal

Former University of Minnesota defenseman (1983-87) Gary Shopek lost his battle with metastatic lung cancer. 

Shopek passed away Sunday, April 20, 2014 surrounded by family and friends. He was 51 years old.

Given a month to live in March, Shopek opted to not receive treatment and instead battle the cancer head on from home.

Hundreds turned out to a silent auction benefit held for him at the end of March. According to his CaringBridge website, the outpouring of support from the community and those that knew him has been tremendous.  

Prior to Minnesota, Shopek played at Minneapolis Patrick Henry where he was a standout. He walked on to the Gophers and played 173 games without a scholarship in four years. It is the sixth-most games played in school history.


Family and friends leave condolences on Gary Shopek's CaringBridge page. Shopek, 51, lost his battle with cancer Sunday.

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