HANOVER, N.H. — Half glass. Full glass. Tanner Glass. A little of each applied to Dartmouth after the Big Green won a penalty-shot tiebreaker to advance to the championship of its Ledyard National Bank Tournament Wednesday night at Thompson Arena.
Dartmouth sophomore Tanner Glass was full to the brim, scoring shorthanded in regulation and twice in what became a nine-round shootout leading to the Big Green’s 2-1 defeat of Bowling Green. While the result will go down as a tie for both teams, it was decidedly a victory for Glass, who was seeing his first action since serving a one-game suspension for spearing in a Dec. 12 exhibition with the United States under-18 team.
“Tanner doesn’t make excuses,” Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet said. “When that happened in the U.S. game, I asked him and he said, ‘Coach, I did it. I deserved what I got. The kid’s fine, but it was stupid.’ I admire that; he’s an honest kid. He’s everything I could ask for in a hockey player.”
The shootout win gave something for the Big Green (4-6-2) to enjoy and put its ongoing goal slump on the back burner. Even so, Dartmouth’s offensive struggles continued thanks to Falcon goaltender Jordan Sigalet, who matched his season high with 50 saves.
It was Sigalet’s first game action for Bowling Green (8-6-3) since publicly revealing his battle with multiple sclerosis on Dec. 11. The Hobey Baker Award candidate performed as advertised.
“He’s done this a lot for us,” BGSU coach Scott Paluch said. “Especially in the first period, when our team was not sharp and Dartmouth was playing so well, we needed Jordan to play well. He gave us an opportunity to remember how to play hockey after the break. He was able to give us a chance to get back in.”
Glass put Dartmouth on the board at 12:01 of the first period, one-timing an Eric Przepiorka faceoff win through Sigalet from the left circle for his first career shorthanded strike. The goal came just two seconds after referee Peter Feola waved off an apparent score by the Falcons’ James Unger at the other end of the ice for redirecting a Don Morrison shot with a high stick.
Sigalet made 34 saves through the first two periods, stops that loomed larger after Jonathan Matsumoto’s equalizer for Bowling Green at 2:40 of the third period. Sigalet further underlined Dartmouth’s offensive futility with glove-hand robberies of the Big Green’s Dan Shribman at 7:14 — Shribman’s upraised arms fogging the unfortunate truth — and Ben Lovejoy five minutes later.
The tiebreaker went to sudden death after a 2-2 tie through five rounds. Brett Pilkington slid a sharp-angle shot under Dartmouth goalie Sean Samuel (39 saves) in round six, but the Big Green’s Mike Ouellette netted his second tally of the shootout to keep things going.
Samuel forced Mike Falk wide and stopped tries by Derek Whitmore and Matsumoto. That left the game winner for Glass, who zinged a 15-footer off Sigalet’s stick and through his legs, then celebrated with a Bobby Orr-like swan dive at center ice.
Dartmouth meets Vermont — a 3-1 winner over Providence — in Thursday’s 7 p.m. Eastern finale. BGSU and the Friars meet in the 4 p.m. consolation.
“We really wanted to play Vermont after we saw them win,” Glass said. “I thought the guys battled hard. It would have been nice to get the win in regulation and help our record, but a win’s a win. We look at it as a win.”
Greg Fennell covers Dartmouth hockey for the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H.