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Liberty Lake native and former Spokane Chiefs star Tyler Johnson, pictured here with the Norfolk Admirals, will be in town Tuesday with the Calder Cup.

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Celebrating a winner
8/15/2012 10:08:19 AM

Tyler Johnson is 5 feet, 9 inches of winner. Overlooked time and again for his small frame in a physical sport, the Liberty Lake native returns to Spokane Tuesday on tour with his latest trophy - the Calder Cup, given to the champions of the American Hockey League. This year, Johnson was a standout rookie for the AHL champion Norfolk Admirals.

This championship doesn't shock people who have followed Johnson's career, which has taken overachievement to the level of championship more often than not (Memorial Cup with Spokane Chiefs, 2008, and World Junior Hockey Championship with Team USA, 2010).

As an Admiral, Johnson was a part of a professional hockey record 28-game winning streak. Individually, he scored 29 goals, 35 assists and 64 points, good for sixth in the AHL in scoring, and was named to the league's All-Rookie Team.

What's more important, Johnson is a winner off the rink - one of the most-down-to-earth and likable people you will ever meet, in or out of sports.

His hometown fans can witness this firsthand Tuesday, when Johnson will cart the Calder Cup trophy around town. Get a picture with the cup and visit with Johnson at the Spokane Arena from 11 a.m. to noon, at Frontier Ice Arena in Coeur d'Alene at 2 p.m., or at 6:30 p.m. at Avista Stadium, when Johnson will be on hand to sign autographs for a short time after throwing out the first pitch for the Spokane Indians game.

Show up or don't show up for the fanfare, what endures is this: Liberty Lake continues to have a great ambassador in "Johnny."

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