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Gems Add Experience on Blueline with Trio of Defensemen

August 25, 2011 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Dayton Gems News Release

Dayton, Ohio - The Dayton Gems professional hockey team is pleased to announce the signings of defensemen James Sanford, Steve Bergin and Jeremy Klaver for the upcoming 2011-2012 CHL season.

Sanford, 27, hails from Moncton, New Brunswick and brings his nearly 300 professional games experience into the Gems dressing room for the upcoming season. During his lengthy professional hockey career, including several stints in the American Hockey League with Hamilton, Milwaukee and Chicago, Sanford has spent one prior season in the Central Hockey League, suiting up for the Odessa Jackalopes in 2010.

On the addition of Sanford, Gems head coach Brian Gratz noted "James is a very talented offensive defenseman. He will bring that ability to improve our powerplay. With his AHL experience, I think he can be a top-notch defenseman in the Central Hockey League."

Joining Sanford on the roster is a pair of recent college graduates, eager to begin their careers with the Gems, and learn from players like Sanford and other leaders on the ice.

Bergin, 23, enters the world of professional hockey after completing four years of NCAA hockey. A native of Groton, Massachusetts, coach Gratz praised the rookie, adding "Steve comes to us from the University of Connecticut where he was a very solid defenseman. He will excel as a penalty killer for the Dayton Gems and will lend some solid physical play to the defensive net front."

Klaver, also 23 and from Strathroy, Ontario, joins the Gems fresh from Adrian College where he spent four seasons with the school's NCAA program, being named an All American in addition to earning conference awards. "Jeremy is a good addition to our defensive core, and it will be fun to watch him adjust and mature to the pro game this season here in Dayton" commented Gratz.

All three will be in a Gems sweater when the team opens training camp on October 10 at the historic Hara Arena.

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.

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