He had a plane ticket to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and plans for a groovy Spring Break, but on Mar. 21, Dartmouth College men’s hockey captain Tanner Glass received an offer that he could not turn down.
The Rochester Americans contacted Glass and invited him to join their team during his week off from classes.
Like a goalie smothering a loose puck in the crease, he jumped at the chance. Glass immediately canceled his tropical trip and signed an amateur tryout contract with the Amerks.
On Mar. 24, the Craven, Sask., native made his professional debut with Rochester, and although the cold ice rink was not nearly as luxurious as the Baja Peninsula, the speedy forward could not imagine being any place else.
“I knew this was going to be just for spring break,” said Glass. “I had my tickets for Cabo, but there was no way that I was going to pass up playing (in Rochester).”
Glass entered the ranks of professional hockey players with a bang, recording his first professional assist/point on Mar. 25 in just his second game with the Amerks. In all, he played in four games for Rochester, finishing with one assist and a plus-three rating.
The 6-foot-1 forward also completed his brief spell in Rochester with five minutes in penalties and a sore left hand after getting involved in his first professional fight.
“I’ve been waiting for that for four years,” said Glass after the game.
While in Rochester, Glass likely caught the eyes of many National Hockey League scouts and coaches. With his trademark lumberjack appearance and composed-beyond-his-years play on the ice, he is certainly a difficult player to forget.
Amerks head coach Randy Cunneyworth certainly liked what he saw.
“He’s very good, a hard worker,” said Cunneyworth, who is behind the Amerks’ bench for a seventh year this season. “He’s good at both ends, and he’s not afraid to go into traffic. It’s no surprise that he’s captain of his team back at school. He’s very coachable and eager to learn. We threw him into the fire and he did a great job. He definitely made good on his opportunity here.”
As his Spring Break came to a close, Glass was forced to leave his new team and head back to Dartmouth to wrap up his final semester. After his last game in Rochester, Glass packed up his equipment and said his goodbyes. He exchanged phone numbers with several of his new teammates and walked out the door of the Blue Cross Arena with his green Dartmouth bag over his shoulder.
“It was fun,” said Glass of his first professional experience. “It was good to come in and measure myself up against other players. It was a pleasure playing with a bunch of great guys and for a great organization. Everyone was very professional.”
As he made his exit at the Blue Cross Arena and the door slowly shut behind him, axioms about doors being opened and the crossing of thresholds came to mind. Perhaps the most fitting adage for the situation, however, has to do with having a foot in a door. Glass’ foot is definitely there, and judging by his performance in his first week as a professional player, it will not be long before someone relieves his foot and lets him back in.