MELFORT — Alex Rondeau has seen large improvements in his game since he joined the Melfort Mustangs last September. So have his coaches.
Rondeau was awarded with the Most Improved Player award at the Mustangs’ 30th award banquet. He was one of many players recognized March 3.
“I just came from a long way and my teammates and coaches helped me a lot to get better,” Rondeau said. “I just think that’s the success of the team and my confidence has gotten way better this year.”
Another improvement Rondeau noticed when looking back on himself his speed.
“I wasn’t really fast, and I still have to work on that, but I think that got a lot better this year.”
Trevor Blevins, head coach with the Melfort Mustangs, said he wasn’t always so sure about where Rondeau would fit in in the team’s defence corps.
“Because he was big, strong and had good habits, we stuck with Alex through pre-season and through the first part of the season here, and he just continued to develop and improve every day. You could see he just needed to be taught the game a little bit and given some confidence, and, really, he took the opportunity and made the best for us.”
Blevins said Rondeau had an all-around change as a player.
“It was not only structure, which we could teach as coaches, but he put the work in himself, in his agility, in his skating, in his puck handling. He has worked very hard this season to get where he is and that’s a full credit to his commitment.”
Blevins said now Rondeau is a key to their defensive corps.
“I’m just another person and another player,” Rondeau said. “I think it’s just all about my confidence on the ice. The guys I play with and the coaches helped so much.”
Justin Ball received Most Valuable Player, Top Scorer and 3 Star Selection.
Belvins said there was no shortage of players to choose from for MVP.
“Unfortunately you have to pick someone but when an individual puts up that many points, it’s for a reason,” Blevins said. “He brings it on the ice every night. Justin is good offensively but he is also a player that can penalty kill, he is a player that’s responsible and in our lineup we need him in there.”
This was Ball’s final year with the team.
“I give a lot to coach, development for years. First year I got a lot of opportunity from him,” Ball said. “The team itself, they help out a lot and, of course, I give a lot of credit to my mates. They have been great to play with for three years and I love playing with these guys. It will be hard not to play with them next year.”
In the future Ball is hoping to play hockey with post-secondary, but hasn’t decided on a school yet.
“We’ll see, I’m just focusing on the team right now.”
|Scholastic Achievement||Zack Smith|
|Community Involvement||Carson Albrecht|
|Most Improved Player||Alex Rondeau|
|Most Dedicated to Fitness||Boedy Donald, Kyle Schneider|
|Most Spirited Player||Tanner Zentner|
|Most Popular Player||Kyle Schneider|
|Most Dedicated Player||Boedy Donald|
|Hardest Working Player||Carson Albrecht|
|Top Scorer||Justin Ball|
|3 Star Selection||Justin Ball|
|Plus/Minus Award||Carson Albrecht|
|Kyle Johnson Memorial Award||Tanner Zentner|
|Crunch Award (Most Hits)||Colin Schmidt|
|Joel Dennis Memorial||Boedy Donald|
|Hardest Hitter Award||Colin Schmidt|
|Top Defensive Forward||Tyson Meyers|
|Top Defensive Defenceman||Marshall Skapski|
|Rookie of the Year||Alex Rondeau|
|Fan Choice Award (social media)||Kayle Tosh|
|Most Valuable Defenceman||Boedy Donald, Kayle Tosh|
|Most Valuable Player||Justin Ball|