The Melfort Mustangs have been at or near the top of the Sherwood Division most of the current Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season and while team defence has been a big factor in that success so has the offensive production that has been turned in by the defensive core.
Three of the top five Mustangs scorers patrol the blueline with 20-year-old Alex Rondeau among that group. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound Drummondville, Que., product is within striking distance of matching his total output from a year ago as his 19 points in the first 23 games are just two shy of the 21 he posted in 58 games last season.
In addition to his durability – he has yet to miss a game during his time in Melfort, which also included a 16-game playoff run to the league final last season – he also brings some grit to the line-up as can be attested by the 30 minutes in penalties he has accumulated in the last two outings. Rondeau is also used in all situations as he has a pair of tallies while the Mustangs are enjoying the man advantage and another one while shorthanded. He also had three special-teams tallies last year.
Prior to coming out west, Rondeau spent two seasons at Pomfret School, a college preparatory boarding school in Connecticut. In 53 games over that span the hulking defenceman had 26 points, including six goals which equals what he has posted in each season with the Mustangs.
The Mustangs appear to be in a season-long battle with the Flin Flon Bombers, La Ronge Ice Wolves and Nipawin Hawks for first place in the Sherwood Division and it will be continued contributions from players like Rondeau at both ends of the rink that could put them over the top.