Gems Sign Goaltender
Dayton, OH- Dayton Gems Head Coach and General Manager Brain Gratz announced today that the Gems have signed free agent goaltender Jeff Jakaitis for the 2010-11 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed due to team and league mandates.
Jakaitis, 27, enters his fourth season as a professional net minder and returns to North American hockey after spending last season overseas in Italy with the Brunico SG team. While in Italy, Jakaitis played in 39 games and logged over 2,340 minutes. He also recorded 25 wins, 14 losses and three shutouts to go along with his 2.61 goals against average and .928 save percentage.
Prior to last season, Jakaitis spent the 2008-09 season with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL and helped the Checkers make the playoffs. Again his numbers were mind-boggling appearing in a total of 53 games (playoffs and regular season) and recording 23 wins, five shutouts, a goals against of 2.73 and a save percentage of .923. Before joining Charlotte and starting his professional career with the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL in 2007-08, Jakaitis was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) in September of 2007.
"Jeff will be a great addition to the Dayton Gems," said Gratz. "He possesses great character and has the ability to give us an excellent chance to win every night."
Jakaitis spent his entire collegiate career at Lake Superior State from 2004-2007. While at Lake Superior State, he appeared in 116 games and recorded 10 shutouts in just four seasons. His career goals against average as a Laker was 2.46 and his save percentage finished with a mark of .923. Jakaitis finished his tenure at LSSU as one of the best goaltenders to ever wear a Laker uniform and his personal accolades explain just why. As a freshman he received honorable mention on the CCHA All-Rookie team and finished second in the CCHA with a goals against average of 2.13. As a sophomore, he was named team MVP. As a junior, Jakaitis was the only goaltender in the CCHA that season to appear in every game, was named to the All-CCHA First Team and a finalist for CCHA Player of the Year. That same season he earned his third straight LSSU Most-Valuable Player Award.
In addition to his success in the crease, Jakaitis has been just as successful in the community throughout his collegiate and professional career. While playing for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, he received the team's community service award. During his tenure at LSSU, Jakaitis was a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of Chippewa County.
Season tickets are on sale now!! Full and partial ticket plans are available. For more information call the Gems offices at 937-275-7777 or log onto our website at www.daytongems.com . You can also catch us on facebook at facebook.com/daytongems. Opening night at Hara Arena is Saturday, October 16th as the Gems host the Evansville IceMen at 7:30 p.m.
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