Dayton Area Sports History

                                                                The Dayton Hockey Hall of Fame

Established in 1970, the Dayton Hockey Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals who have made a lasting impact on the sport of hockey in Dayton and the Miami Valley. The Dayton Hockey Hall of Fame is managed by the Dayton Hockey Foundation.

Bucky Albers, Media/General Manager, Dayton Gems - Among the first writers to cover the Dayton Gems, Albers worked the Gems beat for the Journal Herald from 1964-73. In 1974, he was asked to take the reigns of General Manger of the team, which he served for one year.

Warren Back, Player/Coach, Dayton Gems – Warren Back was brought to Dayton in 1964 by Lefty McFadden to serve as the first coach of the new Dayton Gems. His first two seasons with the Gems, Back served as player/coach, before moving to bench coach only. Under Warren Back, the Gems went from a struggling new franchise to league powerhouse—winning one IHL league championship (1967) and appearing twice in the Turner Cup finals during his tenure.

Bob Bailey
, Center, Dayton Gems – Bob Bailey is regarded as the finest stick handler in the history of Dayton hockey. A veteran of the NHL, Bailey amassed 319 as a Gem, playing mostly on a line with Guy Trottier and Bob Regis. During the 1965-66 season, Bailey accumulated 132 points on 47 goals and an amazing 87 assists—a number that still stands to this day as a Dayton hockey record.

Moe Benoit, Defenseman, Dayton Gems – A veteran of the 1960 Canadian Olympic hockey team, Benoit came to Dayton in 1966 to bring leadership to the Gems defense. During his four seasons in Dayton, the Gems won two league championships and two Turner Cups. He was an IHL first-team all-star in both 1966-67 and 1968-69.

Sid Garant
, Left Wing, Dayton Gems – Mr. Original’—as he was called—Sid Garant played seven seasons with the Gems from 1964-72. He is the Gems' all-time leader in goals (204), assists (291), and points (495)—which is also a Dayton hockey record. He played in a total of 518 games with the Gems.

Bud Gingher, Owner, Dayton Bombers – Along with Arnold Johnson, Gingher brought hockey back to Dayton in 1991 with the ECHL Dayton Bombers. After five seasons at Hara Arena, Gingher and Johnson moved the team to the Nutter Center in 1996. He remained the team’s co-owner until 1998.

Pauline Greene, Owner Hockey World – A familiar face to both Dayton-area amateur and professional hockey players alike, Mrs. Greene has sold hockey equipment to Dayton area hockey players for 35 years. For the past 22 years, she has operated the hockey equipment shop at the Kettering Recreation Center.

Arnold Johnson
, Owner, Dayton Bombers – With Bud Gingher, Johnson brought the Dayton Bombers to Dayton in 1991. An engineer by trade, Johnson’s expertise was instrumental in the installation of the ice at the Nutter Center in 1996. He remained the Bomber’s co-owner until 1998.

Jamie Ling, Center, Dayton Bombers – Jamie Ling is second on the all-time Bombers scoring list with 383 points and second in career games played as a Bomber. He led the team in scoring four times. He was a two-time ECHL all-star and three-time winner of the ECHL sportsmanship award.

Ed ‘Lefty’ McFadden, General Manager, Dayton Gems – The patriarch of Dayton hockey, McFadden served as the team’s general manager from its inception in 1964 until 1973 when he left Dayton to become an executive with the NHL Washington Capitals. Under McFadden, the Gems became one of the most successful minor league franchises in all of hockey. In 1970, he was named Hockey News “Minor League Executive of the Year.”

Colin Miller, Center, Dayton Bombers – Like Bob Bailey, Colin Miller was a crafty stick handler and face-off man. He played four seasons with the Bombers from 1995-99. His career numbers as a Bomber equate to 83 goals and 192 assists in 271 games. He was center on the Bombers first line and also a first liner on the penalty kill and power plays.

Jim ‘Peppermint’ Pettie, Goaltender, Dayton Gems – Known as much for his fisticuffs as his play in the nets, Pettie is perhaps the most colorful player in Dayton hockey history, With Pettie in nets from 1973-76, the Gems won two IHL southern division championships, one league championship, and the Turner Cup in 1976. He had a career goals against average of 2.93—an outstanding number for that era. He went on to play in parts of four seasons with the Boston Bruins.

Jack Reeder
, Executive, Dayton Gems – Jack Reeder was an original stockholder in the Dayton Gems. From 1964-1968, he served as team President and held the position of Chairman of the Board from 1968-73. Reeder remained a stockholder in the team through its final season of 1979-80.

Mike Reier, Center, Dayton Bombers – Mike Reier spent parts of three seasons with the Dayton Bombers. In 141 games, he accumulated 218 points on 69 goals and 149 assists. His best season was 1991-92 when he compiled 75 assists and 98 points. The 75 assists are second only to Tom Nemeth’s 82 as the most assists in a season by a Bomber.

Pat Rupp
, Goaltender, Dayton Gems – Rupp played 313 games in net for the Dayton Gems—more than any other goalie in Dayton hockey history. The 71 games he played during the 1966-67 season stands as a Dayton record. He finished with a 4.04 goals against average and along with teammate John Adams was the 1968-68 IHL ‘Goaltender of the Year.’ He was a part of two league championship teams and two Turner Cup championship teams.

Steve Self, Right Wing, Dayton Gems – Self was only one of three Dayton Gems to 50 goals in a season---56 during the 1974-75 season. The 103 points he totaled that season made him only one of five Gems to score 100 points or more in a season. For his career, he is sixth all-time on the Gems point list. He was twice an IHL all-star and spent three games in the NHL with the Washington Capitals.

Pick Shafer, Youth Hockey Promoter – For nearly 40 years, Pick Shafer was instrumental in the development and management many of the Dayton area youth hockey programs—including DAHA (Dayton Area Youth Hockey Association) and the Dayton Blue Hawks. He was the director of the SilverSticks tournament held in Dayton annually.

Ralph Skilken, Executive, Dayton Gems. Throughout the 1960's, Ralph Skilken sat on the Dayton Gems' Board of Directors. In 1971 when he was named team Secretary, a post he held until mid-1973. Prior to the 1973-74 season, Skilken was named the Gems' Chairman of the Board—a position he held for four years. It was Skilken’s financial backing that kept the Gems operating in the mid-1970’s, enabling them to with a third Turner Cup in 1976.

Lyle Stieg, Broadcaster, Dayton Gems/Dayton Bombers - ‘El Stiego’ was borrowed from the Port Huron Flags by Lefty McFadden to call Dayton Gems playoff games in 1966. He ended up staying in Dayton to be the Gems’ play-by-play voice on radio and television from 1966-77. He eventually made it to the NHL as the play-by-play voice of the Washington Capitals. Stieg also called play-by-play for the Dayton Bombers during the 1990s.

Guy Trottier, Left Wing, Dayton Gems – Trottier’s goals and point totals are still astonishing today. From 1964-67, Trottier scored 185 goals. The 71 goals and 135 points he recorded during the 1966-67 season remain as Dayton hockey records. He notched an astounding 17 hat-tricks and 2 four-goal games in that period. He was a second team IHL all-star in both 1964-65 and 1965-66, and a first team selection in 1966-67.

Jack Walker, Executive, Dayton Gems. A well-known local car dealer, Jack Walker was President of the Dayton Gems from the mid-1960’s through the mid-1970’s and was involved with Dayton-area youth hockey for many years. Walker also provided color commentary with Lyle Stieg during Gems’ radio broadcasts in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Ralph and Harold Wampler, Owners, Hara Arena – The original plans for Hara Arena did not include ice. But when plans were being made to locate an IHL franchise in Dayton, Harold and Ralph Wampler—the owners of the Wampler complex—quickly made changes to accommodate the new team. Hara Arena derived its name from the first two letters of the two brothers. It was the home of the Gems and Bombers until 1995—and has been home to thousands of youth hockey games since it was build it 1964.

Lorne Weighill, Defenseman, Dayton Gems – From 1967-75, ‘Moose’ Weighill played in 570 games, which stands as the most of any Dayton hockey player. In a testament to his durability as a defenseman, Weighill missed only 2 games from 1971 to 1975. Three times he was named an IHL second team all-star.

Don Westbrooke
, Right Wing, Dayton Gems – From 1967-70, ‘Westy’ scored 169 goals and 349 points-the most in the IHL during the period. He was the IHL scoring champ for both the 1968-69 and 1969-70 seasons. He shared the 1967-68 IHL Most Valuable Player award with Fort Wayne's Len Thornson, but it was his alone the next season. He was a first team IHL all-star in the three seasons from 1967-70. He is the only player in Dayton hockey history to score 50 or more goals and 100 or more points in three consecutive seasons.

Jim Wheeler
, Off-Ice Official – ‘Wheels,’ has been a fixture in Dayton professional hockey since 1964. He has worked as an off-ice official with both the Dayton Gems and Dayton Bombers, serving as timekeeper, goal judge and scorekeeper tallying nearly 1500 games in those positions. He has also served as a timekeeper for the Lefty McFadden College Hockey Invitational.

Larry Wilson, Player/Coach, Dayton Gems – Larry Wilson only spent a brief time in Dayton, but it was the most successful period in Gems history. Under Wilson, the Gems won one league championship and back to back Turner Cups in 1969 and 1970. The 1969 Gems compiled a perfect 9-0 record in the playoffs—the first time an IHL team went undefeated in the playoffs.

1975-76 Dayton Gems – The only team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, this Gems’ team won both the Southern division and IHL regular season championship and went on to win the third and last Turner Cup for the franchise. Comprised of many players who would have careers in the National Hockey League, the team also set an IHL record – to that time- for most points in a season with 104 (47-21-10).