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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Brian Strimbiski, who helped take Spokane hockey to new heights, dies at 75

This April 13, 1972 file photo shows, left to right, Brian Strimbiski, Bob Trembecky, and Ken Gastapon. (FILE / The Spokesman-Review)
This April 13, 1972 file photo shows, left to right, Brian Strimbiski, Bob Trembecky, and Ken Gastapon. (FILE / The Spokesman-Review)

Brian Strimbiski, a key member Spokane’s first two Allan Cup senior amateur hockey championship teams in the early 1970s, has died after a battle with cancer in Renton, Washington. He was 75.

Strimbiski, who died Dec. 21, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and played nine years of youth and minor hockey, including three at the University of North Dakota, before arriving in Spokane just in time to help the then-named Jets become the first U.S.-based team to win Canada’s Senior Amateur championship in 1970.

In that 1969-70 season, Strimbiksi scored 14 goals with 22 assists and had three goals in a 9-1 romp over Cranbrook in the Western International Hockey League playoff semifinals that started the Jets on the way to the city’s first of four Allan Cups in an 11-year period.

“He was the ultimate teammate,” remembers Don Scherza. “He always played on one of our top lines. A big, tough winger; hard to play against.”

The second capped the 1971-72 season with Strimbiski, generally playing on a line that included WIHL scoring champion Ken Gustafson and Gail Holden, contributing 26 goals and 29 assists. Strimbiski was eighth in WIHL scoring that season.

In his six-year career in Spokane – 1969-75 – Strimbiski had 128 goals and 178 assists. He was retired from a career with Goodyear that started during his playing days in Spokane.

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