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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Little Man With the Huge Heart

Few believed the little guy from Switzerland could make an impact in the OHL let alone stand a chance to be considered for the NHL entry draft.

But Lino Martschini of the Peterborough Petes has shown more heart than players 12 inches taller than him. He's listed at 5'5" and only 130 pounds. But watching him play most nights you wouldn't say he plays small.

He's not afraid to go to the dirty areas. He tries to throw hits. He gets involved in the action. And he's putting up points. Through 28 games he's scored 7 goals and added 22 assists for 29 points for the East Division's 5th place team.

His ppg pace doesn't sound like much but consider that he has been involved in 27% of all of Peterborough's offense. Compare that to Matt Puempel, who has played 7 more games, who's been involved in 43% of the Petes offense and you can see how important Martschini has been to them.

Martschini was also invited to Team Switzerland's Camp for the World Junior Championships.  Like most 17 year olds, he didn't make the roster but he's come back with a vengeance to the OHL. In the Petes' 2 games since the Christmas break ended, Martschini recorded 3 assists in each game; a 6-1 win over Belleville and a 6-4 loss to Oshawa.

There is no questioning his heart, his drive and his determination to want to play in the best league in the world. The question that will always follow him is can NHL teams get passed his size?

Personally, i love an underdog. And that is what Martschini is. If you've watched him play, you can't help but root for him.

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