GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota's depth could be put to a serious test this weekend.
In addition to forward Shane Pinto being suspended for Friday's series opener against Miami for a cross-checking major, UND's top two defensemen — captain Colton Poolman and first-round NHL draft pick Jacob Bernard-Docker — both missed practice Monday with injuries they sustained over the weekend.
Bernard-Docker suffered an injury on a knee-to-knee collision with Omaha forward Nolan Sullivan in the second period of Friday's game. Bernard-Docker finished the game but was unable to play in the series finale Saturday.
"Yesterday, he came in for physio and he responded very well," UND coach Brad Berry said Monday. "He's getting better. He skated a little bit on his own today. That's positive. So, we'll see where he's at and see if he can partake in part of practice tomorrow and see if we can keep building his week here. He's been going in the right direction."
Poolman suffered an undisclosed injury at the end of the second period Saturday and didn't return.
"He getting some tests done today," Berry said. "We're waiting for the results of those tests to see where we go from there. It's one of those things where Colton has a warrior mentality and he'll play if he can. Obviously, if tests show he can't, then we'll move forward there. But we're just awaiting some test results to get back. We'll know a lot more tomorrow on that one."
Poolman and Bernard-Docker have been the top defensive pairing this season for No. 1-ranked UND, which will head to Ohio with a 17-2-2 record.
Poolman, a senior captain, has two goals and 11 points in 20 games. He has only missed three games during his four-year career. One of them came Nov. 2 for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against Michigan Tech in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Bernard-Docker, a sophomore, is UND's top defenseman scorer with three goals and 14 points in 18 games. Bernard-Docker recently won gold at the World Junior Championship with Team Canada in the Czech Republic.
UND dressed an extra defenseman Saturday and was able to finish the game with its six remaining blue liners after Poolman left the game: senior Andrew Peski, junior Matt Kiersted, junior Gabe Bast, junior Josh Rieger, sophomore Jonny Tychonick and freshman Ethan Frisch.
Bast also is coming off of an injury. After missing 13 games in the first half of the season with an upper-body injury, Bast left the game Jan. 4 against Alabama Huntsville with an injury. He returned to play against the Mavericks.
If UND gets extra short on defenseman, it also has the option of moving Casey Johnson back to the blue line. Johnson, a Grand Forks native, started his college career as a defenseman but has since moved to forward.
UND has been effective at limiting opponents' shots on goal this season with its efficient defensive core.
The Fighting Hawks are allowing an average of just 20.57 shots on goal against, which ranks No. 1 nationally. They also rank first nationally in shots on goal margin, averaging outshooting their opponents by more than 10 shots per game.
No. 1 UND at Miami
When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Goggin Ice Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
TV: CBS Sports Network on Friday only.
Webcast: NCHC.tv on Saturday only.
Radio: The Fox (96.1 FM).