Playing Big

By Heather Croze

The only thing small about Tanner Glass is his hometown, but don't call Craven, Saskatchewan small.

Glass laughs when he mentions how the approximately 230 people of Craven proudly brag that one of the largest country music festivals is held in Craven every year. The tiny town just north of Regina, Saskatchewan can also claim one of the largest Canadian roadside attractions — a giant guitar.

“We have a little gas station, general store, a few streets,” Glass said. “I live about six miles outside of town on 25 acres so technically we’re not even in Craven but it’s where we get our mail. Our nearest neighbor is a mile away in either direction.”

Glass, a 6-2, 205 lb. forward, doesn’t mind that he traded one small town for another. “I’ve liked living here in Hanover. I feel at home. I’ve never met people back at home like the people I’ve met here.”

With his “big” personality, he’s refined his style of play into that of a gritty, hard-nosed player who has scored big goals in big games for the Big Green during the past four seasons.

"Tanner is our heart and soul,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “I've liked him as a player from the start. He’s been a real fighter and excellent leader for us. Tanner plays a physical style but he’s still able to score the big goals when we need them. The biggest skill he has is work ethic and that's not something you can teach. We’re very happy that he came to Dartmouth.”

Glass was introduced to Dartmouth by assistant coach Dave Peters. “I was playing juniors in B.C. when Coach Pete showed up and told me about Dartmouth,” Glass said. “He told me to just look into it with the intensity that only Coach Pete can give you. I did some research and saw it was an Ivy League school on the East Coast so that got me excited.”

Glass explains that Coach Peters was always there. “He was persistent and straight forward from Day One and that sold me,” Glass said. “Once he convinced my parents, I flew down for my recruiting trip and two weeks later I committed.”

“I really liked him from the moment I watched him,” Coach Peters said. “He skates well, has a good skill level, can score goals, make good physical plays and he typifies the way we want to play hockey here at Dartmouth. He’s the type of player who does all the little things. Offensively he’s improved every year and he’s been great for us.”

Glass explains that he knew about Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Cornell as Ivy League schools but didn’t know about Dartmouth. “I had never heard of Dartmouth but once I did some research I realized that it was going to be a better fit for me. I’ve enjoyed Hanover, I feel at home here.”

After graduation in June, Glass is hoping to take a big step by playing in the National Hockey League. The Florida Panthers drafted him in the ninth round.

“I had no idea I was going to be drafted,” Glass said. “The assistant general manager called me and said the first time he saw me play I was sick, the second time I was okay and the third time I was awful. But they saw something in me and told me they thought I could work into a player for them.”

Glass has had to battle some relatively big issues in his first two years at Dartmouth. He started his freshman and sophomore seasons riddled with illness. “I was diagnosed with mono after only playing one game my freshman year. Then as a sophomore I developed toxic shock syndrome as a result of the mono. I was in and out of the hospital as they were trying to diagnose me. I think it’s harder to be sick over being injured because there’s no timetable that tells you when you can come back.”

But Glass has bounced back. He recorded a career-high 28 points last season and is second in scoring this year with 23. He’s proven his worth as he’s been on the top line for the better part of the season and is a key guy on the power play unit.

Glass knows that his big aspirations and big dreams have helped him get to where he is and hopefully where he’s going — the big time.