Tippy took his reward for being top man in the Bruins' tryouts in his stride. He went to Galt and spent a week there, skating against Canadian competition—which is no joke, in hockey circles. "He was up against kids older and more experienced," Lynn Patrick reports, "but he did all right, that boy. If he'd wanted to, he could have gone to school there on a scholarship we offered him. He turned it down because to play in the Toronto Amateur League you've got to be 17. That meant he'd have to sit out a year. He came back to Lynn like the rink rat he is."
LUCKY FOR LYNN
A lucky thing for Lynn English, too. This year their team is being built around the right-wing prospects of Tippy. The coach, Harold (Red) Foote, might have had a lost cause on his hands this year without Tippy Johnson. But with this 5 ft. 9 in., 165-pound bundle of darting trickiness on the ice, Coach Foote expresses quiet confidence that Lynn English might just mop up the championship of the North Shore League. It figures, he figures.
Tippy got his grooming in what he called the Pee Wee league of hockey. This is a league where you're out when you hit 15. With the Pee Wees, Tippy made three trips to the Midwest in national competition. In 1953, in Duluth, he won out as the best skater among those present from all over the country.
He has no plans for college. When he gets through Lynn English—and maybe before—he'll light out for Canada to become a hockey pro. And it just might be that Tippy, plus the Bruins' new Lynn tryouts for New England hopefuls, will cut into the long-time Canadian monopoly on topflight hockey players. Anyway, you can be sure that as Lynn English opens its season on Dec. 4, Tippy Johnson will be at right wing. And Lynn Patrick's Boston Bruins will be keeping track of how he's doing with that puck.