From Ohio History Central
Dayton Bombers Logo
The Dayton Bombers is a professional "AA" hockey team from Dayton, Ohio. The Bombers are owned and operated by <st1:city w:st="on">Detroit</st1:city>, Michigan, native Costa Papista and guided on the ice by veteran coach Bill McDonald, who hails from <st1:city w:st="on">Thunder Bay</st1:city>, Ontario. The team initially played in the East Coast Hockey League's (ECHL) West Division. The Bombers began play in the 1991-1992 season, finishing with a record of thirty-two wins and thirty-two losses. The next season, the team improved dramatically, finishing second in the West Division. The Bombers' success was short-lived, and the team fell to next to last place in its division during the 1993-1994 season. For the 1994-1995 season, the team moved to the ECHL's North Division, finishing with forty-two wins and twenty-six losses. The Bombers' roller-coaster existence continued the next season, with the team failing to attain a winning season with thirty-five wins and thirty-five losses. Over the next three seasons, the squad, now playing in the ECHL's Northwest Division, finished either third or fourth in its division, but in the 2000-2001 season, the team claimed second place with forty-five wins, twenty-one losses, and six ties. The next season, the Bombers won its division, but the team proceeded to fall to last place in the 2002-2003 season. Since their inception in 1991-92 to the end of the 2007-2008 season, the Bombers have compiled a record of 555-495-140 and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in both 2002 and 2007.
Each year, Bombers players come from all over the globe to hone their skills. The team has consisted of players from the <st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region>, as well as Europe and Asia. Players are typically in their early twenties and are on a three-year NHL development track. The Bombers play 36 home games each season between the Ervin J. Nutter Center (on the campus of <st1:placename w:st="on">Wright</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">State</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype w:st="on">University</st1:placetype>) and at <st1:city w:st="on">Troy</st1:city>, Ohio’s historic Hobart Arena. The Bombers welcome more than 130,000 fans each season.