Bombers Veteran Nick Short Chooses UMass-Dartmouth (NCAA D3)
The Long Beach Bombers are proud to announce that their franchise’s All-Time Leading Scorer for Defensemen, Nick Short, has signed with NCAA Div-lll University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth. The twenty year-old from Los Angeles played 180 career games for the Bomb Squad, and racked-up 131 career WSHL points. His individual statistics doubled in each of his four seasons with the club, while his penalty minutes decreased each season. In his final year, he led the entire WSHL’s defensemen group with 72 regular season points, and added another 8 in the Thorne Cup Playoffs. He tied for 30th in WSHL scoring, and was 5th on the Long Beach roster. His 180 games played rank him 3rd in franchise history (Johnny Linehan 230 & Timmy Linehan 196). His 72 points in 2016-2017 set a WSHL All-Time Individual Season Record for a Defenseman at the Junior A level. He holds the 3rd spot for career points by a defenseman in the WSHL, behind Derek Smith and Nick Giers.
Nick will compete for the UMass-Dartmouth Corsairs within the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, this Fall. Second year coach, Erik Noack, earned Coach of the Year in his first season with the club. Noack guided the Corsairs to a 17-9 record, good for 3rd place in the MASCAC. Last season, the team led the conference in Power Play Percentage, something that Nick Short knows all about, as the Bombers did the same in the WSHL. Short piled up 27 points with the man-advantage; 2nd on the squad. Short will get the opportunity to face-off against two former Bombers, Khalil East (Worcester State) and Kyle Orgel (Plymouth State), this season.
Air Force Academy (NCAA D1) Head Coach, Frank Serratore, commented on the signing by saying, “UM-D got a really good D3 player in Nick. I wish he would have been a qualifier for us, we would have given him a shot!” Coach Serratore is referring to Short’s academic eligibility which did not pass NCAA Clearinghouse (an NCAA Division One requirement), due to some core credits missing.
UMass-Dartmouth’s Coach Noack says, “We are very excited to have Nick joining our program. We were looking for a big, strong puck moving defenseman and I think we have found that in Nick. We saw him out at the Showcase in Las Vegas and knew right away he would be a great addition to our team."
Bombers Head Coach & General Manager, Chris White, added, “I am extremely happy for Nick, as he makes the next step in his hockey career. We have seen him mature and develop in so many ways, over the past four seasons. I can think of several areas he improved, and a lot of that is a credit to his commitment and work ethic. This season, the biggest improvement we saw was on the power play. The opportunity was there, and it just finally seemed to click. I expect his skill level to continue to allow him to produce at the NCAA D3 level. I think as he matures, he will limit some of the risk-taking and become a top player for Coach Noack. Nick has left a major mark on our organization, and exits with some career and individual season records to his name. His overall body of work is extremely impressive, and I can truly say he is part of a very small club of alumni that have had this type of longevity and influence on the direction of our organization. We will be following Nick and the Corsairs closely, and wish him all the best in this amazing experience he will have as a student-athlete.”
Nick’s Player Profile Page:http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=314152
Q & A with Nick Short:
You spent four seasons with the Long Beach Bombers. Can you try to remember back to 2013, and talk about how things have changed since you first arrived?
When I first arrived to the Bombers in 2013, the team was known to be rough and physical. Throughout my years playing with the team, the overall performance took a complete turn for the best. Each year, our head coach would find players who understood the game better, who controlled the puck better, and who shot with precision and power better. By the time 2017 arrived, our team was beyond anything I could ever imagine. Even the players on the team were in shock of how good we were!
Last season was full of records, both team and individual, for you. What things led to a WSHL regular season points title for the team, and a 40-point increase that earned you the WSHL Top Scoring Defenseman award?
Definitely the recruiting is what led us to accomplishing a WSHL regular season points title. Coach White formed this team with players who were respectful to one another, skillful, intelligent, and relentless on the ice. Each player had their own individual jobs but we all shared the same goal. Because we were all on the same page, that allowed us to accomplish more than what we expected in the season. As far as individual accomplishments, I earned a 40-point increase not only because of my dedication off-ice but also because of Coach Chris. He helped me understand how to become that defenseman who could do more than just defend. I remember the extra time we would have after practice. He would break down the movement for our power-play and time-after-time I would fail. But, eventually, I finally learned how to do it. I owe it to him for continuously supporting me throughout my years of playing junior hockey. I chose the Bombers because I wanted to see my game improve, and I received the WSHL Top Scoring Defenseman award because he is the definition of development. He is the reason I have an opportunity to play NCAA hockey. I give him full credit for my accomplishments as a Bomber.
You were in discussion with several schools/teams. What was it about UMass-Darmouth and Coach Noack that finally sealed the deal?
If I am going to be honest, Coach Noack was the main reason why I chose UMass-Dartmouth. Coach Noack allowed me to take my time when making my decision between schools. There was no pressure when we would talk about the school, team, or Massachusetts itself. He made the process easy for me. For example, he would go out of his way and contact specific departments to make sure I received the documents needed. Also, he would contact Ron White to tell me to “get my **** together” when I would fall behind. But what also sealed the deal was former Bomber, Khalil East. Khalil and I have known each other since my first season with the Bay Harbor Red Wings PeeWee B. Throughout this off-season, he gave me an input on how I would be able to help the team since he plays for Worcester State. I liked what I heard so my effort focused more on UMass than any other school.
What are some of the best memories you have from your storied career with the Bombers?
One of my favorite and memorable moments was during my third season with the Bombers, when Captain Cal Owens was first introduced to the WSHL. Everyone would talk about how mean and how crazy this Canadian guy was. Players would gossip about the stories of him knocking a guy out with a glass bottle. The first story he told me was him getting into a fight. Obviously, my first thought was, “I want to see this guy fight…” In the first game against Fresno Monsters, Captain Cal aggressively laid the body on one of their players. The Fresno player disapproved the hit made and asked Captain Cal if he “wanted to –” Before you know it, Cal’s gloves and stick were in the air flying as he gives the guy three or four solid throws to the face. Everyone was confused because only his gloves and stick were scattered on the ice. Jaws were dropped and thoughts were running, “How? What? Like…how?” I remember thinking to myself how entertaining that season was going to be.
What parts of your game are you focusing on, this off-season, to give yourself the best chance to be an impact player as a Freshman?
I am focusing on my understanding of the game. I want my vision on the ice to be precise when I make passes and when I create plays. I am also working on my size, speed, and power. I want to feel dominant on the ice as I am skating with the puck, fighting for positioning in front of the net, and winning one-on-one battles in the corners. By watching film of the games UMass played in this past season, I noticed the occasional mistakes their opponents would make that could lead to a scoring opportunity. I believe by the time the season comes around, I will be ready to make a difference.
Two part question: If Bombers fans were going to pick a MASCAC team to root for - Plymouth State, Worcester State, or UMass-Dartmouth? If Bombers fans were going to choose who will have more points next year - Khalil East (WSU), Kyle Orgel (PSU), or you?
If Bombers fans were going to pick a MASCAC team, I think they would choose UMass-Dartmouth. I was the most recent player to age out from the Bombers. It would make sense that they would choose the most recent player to follow.
If Bombers fans were going to choose who will have more points next year, I think they would choose me. I had a successful season in the WSHL 2016-2017 season. Although East and Orgel have more experience in the MASCAC division, I expect myself to be an impact player my freshman year. I am determined to surpass Coach Noacks expectations of me coming in.