The Dayton Owls was a professional hockey team from Dayton, Ohio. The team played in the International Hockey League (IHL), a minor league that initially had teams in small, Midwestern markets. The IHL existed from 1945 to 2001. Originally, the Dayton Owls was known as the Dayton Gems. The Gems played in the league from 1964 to 1977, when the team became known as the Owls.
The Dayton Gems played its home games in Hara Arena. The team played very well in its first years of existence, winning the league title in the 1968-1969 and the 1969-1970 seasons. During these years, several Gems players advanced to the National Hockey League, professional hockey's premier league. The team struggled during the early 1970s, but the Gems did win the IHL championship again in the 1975-1976 season. The team suspended operations for the next season but returned for the 1977-1978 season. The Gems, now known as the Dayton Owls, relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the middle of the season, becoming the Grand Rapids Owls.