I attended my first CHL hockey game of the season last night at the infamous Hara Arena, and watched the hometown Dayton Gems lose an overtime heart breaker, 3-2. The Gems had plenty of scoring opportunities, but their “special teams” really struggled throughout the game.
It appears that the fan turnout is a little better this year with nearly 3,000 in attendance. The ticket price is still a bargain, but it borders on thievery to charge to park in the lot that looks like a sparsely-paved gravel pit.
My first impressions of the Gems roster is that they are a hard working crew, but they lack the necessary toughness and their talent on defense is questionable. One indication of the physical nature of a team is how the players behave when there is a scrum around the goalie. Unfortunately almost all of the Dayton players act a little timid. The Gems don’t need unskilled goons but a soft response to chippy opponents is going to make for a long and losing season.
A photo of the face off with the Evansville Icemen…