By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., April 26, 2017 — The Great Falls Americans, a member of the Frontier Division’s North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that goaltender Nick Nast has made his college commitment to an NCAA school in Minnesota.
Nick Nast, a 19-year-old from Oxnard California, has committed to play for the St. Mary’s University Cardinals in the fall of 2017. The 5’11” netminder will continue his education at the NCAA Division III school located in Winona, Minnesota. The college located about 118 miles from Minneapolis is affiliated with the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAC).
Nast played his only season for the Great Falls Americans during the 2016-17 season. The newest recruit to St. Mary’s University was instrumental in leading the Great Falls Americans to the playoffs this past season.
Nast finished the season for Great Falls with a 20-3-0-1-1 record in 25 appearances and had 733 saves (0.934 save percentage) while allowing 52 goals ranking him in the top ten in the league. Great Falls finished the regular season with a 38-4-2-3 record and a playoff berth.
After receiving a first-round bye in the Frontier Division playoffs, the Americans, coached by Jeff Heimel, faced the Gillette (WY) Wild in the divisional semi-final round where they easily won two straight games over the Wyoming squad. The Americans top goaltender contributed 54 saves in the two games. Great Falls faced the Yellowstone (WY) Quake, who led the division standings for most of the season, in the Frontier Divisional Finals. The Americans took game one (2-1) but fell in the final two games including a 3-2 overtime setback in the third contest. Nast recorded 110 saves during the three-game finals. Great Falls finished with an overall record of 41-5-3-3.
The recent college signee was one of four Great Falls Americans who were selected to the 2017 Top Prospects Tournament that took place in February in Plymouth, Michigan. He helped the White team, comprised of individuals from the West and Frontier Divisions, win two out of three games where many scouts and college coaches were in attendance. The California native concluded the prestigious tournament with 41 saves.
“My time in Great Falls was awesome. Our team making it to the divisional finals and finishing fourth overall in the league during the regular season were huge accomplishments,” said the college bound Nast.
Nast is looking forward to his time in Minnesota where he will be a Business major and suiting up for the Cardinals when the team takes the ice next fall. Nick looks forward to the move up in hockey and playing at a higher level and building on those experiences that will prepare him for the rest of his life while playing the sport he loves.
The newest member of the Cardinals wanted to thank his billet family, Steven and Carlee Fox for their hospitality and Americans coach Jeff Heimel for helping prepare him for the next level.
He is the son of Tommy and Luanne Nast and the sister to Ali Nast.
Click here to view Nick Nast’s statistics with the Americans.
Click here for a full listing of NA3HL college commitments.
Additional Media Coverage: May 7, 2017: Great Falls Tribune: Nast, O’Donnell sign college tenders