Trail's return benefits Blizzard
ALEXANDRIA - Dustin Trail's career as a member of the Alexandria Blizzard didn't exactly get off to a flying start back in the fall of 2005. After failed tryouts at Green Bay and North Iowa, Trail earned a spot in Alexandria. He promptly broke hi...
ALEXANDRIA - Dustin Trail's career as a member of the Alexandria Blizzard didn't exactly get off to a flying start back in the fall of 2005.
After failed tryouts at Green Bay and North Iowa, Trail earned a spot in Alexandria. He promptly broke his arm in the third game of the season and was out until the new year. By the time the playoffs rolled around, the former Albert Lea High School standout was a regular.
Now 20 years old, Trail is in his final campaign of junior hockey. Entering Thursday's game against Southern Minnesota, he had appeared in 107 games in a Blizzard uniform.
Trail was slowed again this year by an off-season shoulder injury, a torn rotator cuff suffered while mountain biking. He missed the first month and it was mid-November before he regained his former role.
By December, the lanky blueliner was back on track as the Blizzard went 6-1-0 for the month and he was an impressive +12.
"You just have to be patient and work your way back into the lineup," Trail said.
At 6-2 and just 170 pounds, Trail isn't going to wow anyone with his physical prowess. His is more of a finesse game, one built on speed, skill and smarts. Trail's improved play - at both ends of the ice - has been vital to the Blizzard's turnaround.
"If the 'D' don't play well, you don't win the game. We've got a great bunch of veteran defensemen now," he said. "Over time, you do mature. You know what's expected of you. You know how to deal with things. And you know what you need to do to help the younger guys."