Westblom to Play for Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League

Dayton, Ohio – The Dayton Gems professional hockey team is excited to announce the return of Tim Hartung and the addition of goaltender Kristofer Westblom for the upcoming 2011-2012 Central Hockey League season.

Rejoining the Gems for his third season in a Dayton uniform, Hartung, a 27 year old native of St. Paul, Minnesota, adds utility to the club, spending parts of last season at both defensive and offensive positions. Notching 28 points in his 35 regular season appearances last season; he was also instrumental in the team’s first playoff appearance, earning a point in three postseason games against Rapid City. Gems head coach Brian Gratz offered praise on his comprehensive abilities on the ice, noting “playing both forward and defense for us last season, along with his exceptional play on the blueline, will allow Tim to pose a true duel threat on both ends of the ice this season.”

In addition to Hartung, the Gems are proud to introduce goaltender Kristofer Westblom, a Kris Westblom2005 third-round draft pick of the NHL’s Minesota Wild. Westblom, 24, comes to Dayton fresh from Nova Scotia’s Acadia University where he was named the 2010 Acadia University athlete of the year, an Academic All-Canadian and a finalist for the CIS Godfrey Award for excellence both academically and in the community. Prior to his university career, the native of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan played four seasons of major junior hockey with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. Gratz, a former netminder himself, held high expectations for the rookie goalie, noting “after having an outstanding junior and college career, I’m excited to see Kristofer develop between the pipes right here in Dayton as a member of the Gems and earn some quality minutes this season.”

Joining the Gems is yet another career milestone this year for Westblom, who graduated with a degree in Business Administration in the spring, and participated in the Philadelphia Flyers NHL prospect development camp held in Voorhees, New Jersey back in July. “Being invited to the prospects camp and gaining that experience with a major league club over the summer will help him make the transition from college into professional hockey” added Gratz.

Both players will be in a Gems sweater when the club opens its third training camp inside the historic Hara Arena on October 10.

The Dayton Gems opening night is set for Saturday, November 5 at 7pm. Season and mini pack ticket packages are now on sale starting at $27! Call the Gems at 275-7777 for more information and to order by phone.

The Kettering Medical Center is proud to be the official title sponsor of the Dayton Gems.