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Damon Tusha: The man down under


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Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Damon Tusha was introduced to ice hockey at a young age by his father, who was a fan of the sport. Though he questioned the sport at first originally being a big fan of Australian rules football after watching his first ever professional hockey game and playing some more, Damon became hooked. He started to love the feeling of the cold air rushing past him as he skated and the thrill of chasing after the puck.

Damon started playing in local youth leagues and quickly established himself as a talented player. He was fast, agile, and had a natural instinct for the game. His parents were supportive of his passion for hockey, and they spent countless hours driving him to practices and games.

As Damon got older, he began to dream of playing at a higher level. He wanted to play in the Australian Junior Hockey League, and eventually, the Victory Hockey League. But he knew that the odds were against him. Ice hockey was not a popular sport in Australia, and there were very few opportunities for young players to develop their skills.

Undeterred, Damon continued to work hard on and off the ice. He spent hours practicing his skating, shooting, and passing, and he studied the game, watching videos of the best players in the world to learn from their techniques.

When he turned 16, Damon was offered a spot on the Melbourne Ice Juniors, one of the top teams in the Australian Junior Hockey League. It was a dream come true for Damon, who had worked so hard to reach this point. He was excited to be playing at a higher level, and he knew that this was the first step toward achieving his ultimate goal.

As a junior player, Damon was known for his speed and agility. He was a dynamic forward, capable of creating scoring chances out of nothing. He quickly became a fan favorite in Melbourne, and his popularity grew as he helped the Ice Juniors reach the playoffs. Despite his abilities, at such a young age he started to doubt himself and wonder whether or not he could truly become anything more than an irrelevant amateur hockey player, and he almost entirely dropped hockey for Australian rules football, and he just overall fell into a mental rut. However, with a newfound bond with his dad, he was able to overcome his struggles and get right back into the fight. 

Off the ice, Damon was a dedicated student. He knew that he needed to maintain good grades if he wanted to continue playing hockey, so he spent many long nights studying and doing homework. He also volunteered at local youth hockey programs, sharing his love of the game with younger players and helping to inspire a new generation of Australian hockey players.

Despite his success in the Australian Junior Hockey League, Damon knew that if he wanted to play at the highest level, he needed to go to Canada. He had heard that the Canadian Junior Hockey League was the best in the world, and he knew that he would need to play there if he wanted to get noticed by scouts.

So, at the age of 18, Damon packed his bags and moved to Canada. He joined a junior team in Ontario and quickly established himself as a top player. He was fast, skilled, and had a great work ethic. He caught the attention of scouts from the Victory Hockey League, who saw in him the potential to become a star player.

Despite the attention he received Damon would continue to play in the Australian Junior scene for another two and a half years. He would hold off interest from professional Australian teams because he knew he was bigger than local Australian hockey. So he would dominate for the next couple of years until he turned 20 when he was deemed ineligible to compete in Australian Junior Hockey, in this time he would participate in 40 games scoring 29 goals and tallying 26 assists. 

He would hold off on interests from VHLM scouts until the trade deadline when he would be picked up by a competitive Halifax 21st. It was all perfect to him he could finally play Canadian Hockey and he would be able to eventually work his way up through the Victory Hockey League system.

While at first, he struggled, after a couple of games he started to find his stroke of luck and would finish his part of the season with 18 Games Played 2 goals scored, and 11 assists for 13 points total. He would take a seat back from the Australian juniors sniper role and take a more intense two-way playmaking role. In the playoffs, he would have similar results where he would appear in all 5 games and tally 3 points, and would score a goal in that surprise win in game 4 against Ottawa. 

Right now Damon is just waiting on that next step in the process whether VHLM or VHLE only thing that's for sure is that he'll enjoy every moment. 

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