The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team doubled up in adding players from the transfer portal on Tuesday but also lost the third member of its top forward line from this season.
Center Max Johnson and goaltender Jared Moe are transferring to the Badgers from Bowling Green and Minnesota, respectively, adding some interesting dynamics to the lineup and the Border Battle rivalry.
Senior left wing Linus Weissbach, meanwhile, signed an entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres that'll start next season.
Weissbach joined sophomore right wing Cole Caufield (Montreal, NHL) and senior center Ty Pelton-Byce (Manitoba, AHL) in signing professionally. Players were granted an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic but Weissbach and Pelton-Byce decided against using it.
There was question late last summer whether Weissbach, a seventh-round pick of the Sabres in 2017, would come back to the Badgers for the 2020-21 season or stay home in Sweden to play. He made his return pay off by finishing third nationally in scoring with 41 points in 31 games. He tied his total from the previous two seasons with 12 goals and was a key element of the power play.
The entrance of Moe via transfer from archrival Minnesota is bound to raise the temperature a little more when the teams meet next season.
"I'm sure when we play at Minnesota I'll get some good chirps thrown at me," said Moe, who has three years of eligibility remaining after two seasons with the Gophers. "Probably some that I can't repeat."
It's rare for a player to transfer between the Badgers and Gophers men's hockey teams. Paul Lundeen debuted with UW in the 1977-78 season before moving to Minnesota.
The combination of Moe starting only two of Minnesota's 31 games this season and the return of Mike Richter Award finalist Jack LaFontaine to the Gophers for his bonus season gave the sixth-round Winnipeg draft pick in 2018 the incentive to explore a move.
Moe, 21, said he talked to Cameron Rowe, who split time in the UW crease this season with graduate transfer Robbie Beydoun, and expects a good competition next season.
The Badgers also have third-string goaltender Ben Garrity on the roster and have signed Germantown native Noah Grannan for next season.
Like Beydoun last offseason, Moe had to see an opportunity to play to move to UW. Being on the bench as a sophomore wasn't helping his development after he played in 16 games as a freshman with a .915 save percentage.
"When you sit there for a month at a time, two months at a time that's a hard thing to do as a goalie," Moe said. "To stay in game shape you've got to get those games."
Johnson, 22, has a family connection to the Badgers that helped him make his decision on where to transfer after four seasons at Bowling Green. His parents and sister both attended UW — his dad Scott was an inside linebacker out of Madison Memorial in the late 1980s.
"It's been in my family so I've always been a Badger at heart," Johnson said. "It's been my dream school."
Johnson had 48 goals and 122 points in 143 games for Bowling Green. He was one of seven Falcons seniors to enter the transfer portal after the season, looking to spend their extra year of eligibility elsewhere while Bowling Green turned to new players.
He called the 2021-22 season a "business year" for him to improve himself for a possible pro career. He can bring some of the gritty nature that coach Tony Granato said the Badgers will need with the top-line players moving on.
"BG was the perfect fit for that grittiness and it really taught me a lot of things, to be hard on the puck," Johnson said. "I can definitely help out Wisconsin with that."
Look back on State Journal coverage of Badgers men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season
Read stories from University of Wisconsin men's hockey games in the 2020-21 season.
Ty Pelton-Byce scored twice for the Badgers, including the tying goal with 26.8 seconds left after UW let two third-period leads slip away.
Coach Tony Granato went down the lineup in handing out individual laurels for good chances created, hits dished out or composed plays in the defensive zone.
The Badgers erase the sour taste of their largest loss of the season with their first victory at Michigan in their past eight tries.
A four-goal second period by the Wolverines was the difference after the Badgers took the lead.
No. 11 UW is alone atop the conference standings after completing its first series sweep at Minnesota in 12 years with an emphatic 8-1 victory against the second-ranked Golden Gophers.
Cole Caufield broke a tie with seven minutes remaining and Dylan Holloway figured in two goals in the following 2:18 as Wisconsin beat Minnesota 4-1.
Cole Caufield scores two goals for the second straight game and Linus Weissbach records his first three-point game of the season.
Robbie Beydoun stopped 19 shots for his second shutout of the season.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, the Badgers couldn't pull all the way back with a late push.
The Badgers scored two power-play goals to win at Penn State for the first time in five tries.
A third-period penalty kill was "probably the biggest five minutes of our season so far," Badgers coach Tony Granato said.
UW freshman Cameron Rowe makes 11 saves for his first shutout.
The Badgers outshot the Gophers but paid the price for turnovers, a slow line change and a bad penalty.
Beydoun made 35 saves as the Badgers knocked off the Gophers in their first game since Dec. 4.
Cameron Rowe made 40 saves in his first collegiate start as the Badgers split a series at the Buckeyes.
The Badgers have lost all three games since four forwards became unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol.
Sophomore Jax Murray scored his first two collegiate goals for the Sun Devils as the Badgers fell to .500.
The Badgers were missing five forwards, one of whom sources said was held out because of a positive COVID-19 test and three others who were close contacts.
Caufield had his second hat trick for the Badgers and Tarek Baker scored a key short-handed goal.
Robbie Beydoun made a career-high 49 saves for the Badgers.
Missing their top two centers, the Badgers nearly emerged with a split against the sixth-ranked Wolverines.
The Wolverines scored three times in the final 5 minutes, 22 seconds of the second period to turn a deficit into a two-goal lead going into the intermission.
Dylan Holloway's third-period goal put the Badgers ahead for good after they lost two-goal and one-goal leads.
Linus Weissbach helped provide the offense and Robbie Beydoun was a stable presence in goal in the Badgers' 2-0 victory over No. 20 Notre Dame.
Holloway scored twice on the power play to lead the Badgers past the Buckeyes.
If a 7-0 victory against Ohio State at LaBahn Arena was Cole Caufield's last time playing at home for the Badgers, it was the kind of effort UW fans will want to remember him by.
Robbie Beydoun, playing in his home state, makes 28 saves as the Badgers keep the heat on Minnesota in the chase for the Big Ten title.
Cole Caufield scores twice to give the Badgers a 2-1 victory at Michigan State and the Big Ten title on the final day of the regular season.
Cole Caufield scored his 27th goal of the season 6 minutes, 50 seconds into the extra session to send the fifth-ranked Badgers past the Nittany Lions 4-3 on Monday in the Big Ten semifinals.
The Badgers paid for a lackluster effort in the second period as the Gophers beat UW for the first time in six championship-round games.
Bemidji State was the aggressor from the beginning and kept UW from playing the brand of hockey it has used to generate scoring chances.