(TMZ) -- UNLV hockey coach Nick Robone says he's grateful to be alive after getting shot in the chest during the Las Vegas massacre ... and has vowed to use his 2nd chance at life to help other people.
TMZ Sports spoke with Robone, who says he's proud of the way his hometown has unified over the past week ... and he believes Vegas will bounce back from the tragedy.
Moving forward ... Robone hopes to kick-start his own foundation to give back to the youth hockey community ... and calls for other victims to speak with a professional about their experiences.
"Don't hold anything in. Talk about it. It might be difficult, but in the long run, I think mentally it'll help a lot of people."