GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota hasn’t had a rep at the World Junior Championship the last two years.
That might be changing later this month.
Sophomore defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker — one of Canada’s last cuts a year ago — has again made Canada’s World Junior Championship Selection Camp roster.
There are 10 defensemen on the camp roster.
The camp will be held Monday through Thursday in Oakville, Ont. Bernard-Docker will leave for the camp after UND’s series at Western Michigan this weekend — the Fighting Hawks’ final regular-season games before Christmas break.
If Bernard-Docker makes the team, he will miss UND’s Jan. 3-4 two-game series against Alabama Huntsville.
Bernard-Docker is off to a terrific start this season. He has three goals and 14 points in 15 games.
Only four defensemen in the nation currently have more points than the Canmore, Alta., product: Minnesota Duluth junior Scott Perunovich (20 points), Boston University junior David Farrance (19), Sacred Heart senior Mike Lee (16) and Northeastern senior Ryan Shea (15).
UND hasn’t had many reps on Team Canada in recent years.
The last two were Tyson Jost (2017, silver) and Jonathan Toews (2006, 2007, golds). Prior to that, the last UND player to make Team Canada was Brad Bombardir in 1992.
Bernard-Docker is one of four college players heading to camp this month.
Bast nearing return
Bernard-Docker might not be around for UND’s final nonconference series of the season against Alabama Huntsville, but the good news is that the Fighting Hawks might be getting a defenseman back in the lineup for that one.
Junior defenseman Gabe Bast is getting closer to returning after sustaining an upper-body injury in October.
Bast, who hasn’t played since Oct. 19 at Minnesota State-Mankato, is skating again and went through all of the team’s drills Monday. While it’s doubtful that he plays at Western Michigan this weekend, Bast should be ready to return after Christmas break.
UND plays an exhibition game at the U.S. Under-18 Team on Dec. 28, then hosts Huntsville on Jan. 3-4 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“I think it would be unfair, probably, to put him in a heavy series like that on the road right away,” Berry said. “He’s not quite there yet, conditioning-wise and health-wise. But I know three weeks from now, he’ll be ready to go for sure.”