Ty Pelton-Byce hasn't been in a competitive hockey game since last March, so he jumped at the opportunity to play for the United States.
Even in Siberia.
The University of Wisconsin forward from Madison was named to the U.S. roster for the World University Games, March 1-9 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The American team is made up of 15 players from non-varsity programs and seven players, including Pelton-Byce, from NCAA teams.
Many in the latter category are players who are in a transfer year.
Pelton-Byce was forced into an academic leave of absence after his second year at Harvard, and he decided to transfer to UW. NCAA rules require men's hockey transfers to sit out a season.
"This whole process has been pretty grueling, stressful, frustrating at times, especially since I can't play this year," Pelton-Byce said. "So for this to come out of it and to be able to play for Team USA and get to play some competitive games after a while is pretty exciting."
Pelton-Byce, who scored 10 goals as a Harvard sophomore last season, has been practicing with the Badgers since early January and will have two years of eligibility remaining starting next season.
The U.S., led by former Brown coach Roger Grillo, plays the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia and Japan in the World University Games preliminary round. It finished ninth in the competition in 2017.
Unglued and undisciplined
UW coach Tony Granato said after Saturday's game that it was "unacceptable" that some of his players came "unglued and undisciplined" in the 4-1 loss to Ohio State.
Defenseman Tyler Inamoto was ejected for a high hit on Buckeyes forward Carson Meyer with UW trailing 3-0 near the end of the second period.
Tarek Baker was called for slashing Dakota Joshua behind the play in the third period.
Granato was upset that his players used pent-up aggressiveness in a negative way.
"You could turn the game really fast the other way if you channel that energy the right way," he said. "And we decided to do it a different way."
Asked Saturday if he addressed that topic with his team, Granato replied in the affirmative. "It's my job as a coach," said. "We discussed it. We talked about it. Unacceptable."