Schenderling, Younger Sparre Have
Been Pleasant Surprise For Inferno

By John Devlin
Special to The State

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Jeremy Schenderling and Kris Sparre have been paying early dividends since they’ve recently donned Columbia Inferno sweaters.

Schenderling is a rookie forward picked up in a trading deadline deal with Augusta that also netted the Inferno defenseman Eric Lundberg for under-performing veteran forward Anthony Battaglia. Schenderling has two goals and five assists is his first seven games with Columbia.

Sparre, the younger brother of Inferno sniper Daniel Sparre, was signed out of junior hockey and, technically, has yet to score a point in his first three games as a professional. But he scored the decisive penalty shot in his pro debut to hand the Inferno a 3-2 shootout victory against Florida on Friday at the Carolina Coliseum.

“I didn’t expect this from either of them,” Inferno coach Troy Mann said. “Jeremy showed he could score goals in junior, but for whatever reason he was struggling with Augusta. Maybe he just needed a change of scenery to get him going. Kris isn’t as skilled as Danny, but he made a pretty move in the shootout to get us a win. He’s still learning the system, but he could help us down the stretch”

Schenderling was in a major slump at the time of the trade, producing one goal and three points in his last 16 games in Augusta. He had six goals and six assists in 33 games with the Lynx after scoring 23 goals in his final season in the Canadian junior ranks with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.

“I put Jeremy with Brad Ralph and Owen Fussey on the top line when he got here, and those guys seemed to click,” said Mann. “He’s even kept it up since I moved him to the third line with Mac Faulkner.”

Schenderling, who turns 22 on April 3, had two assists in his Columbia debut, a 4-2 home loss to Gwinnett on March 6. His first goal with the Inferno came on the power play the following night in a 4-2 victory against Dayton, and had one goal and one assist in a 4-2 road win Sunday against the South Carolina Stingrays.

Sparre has been up-and-down in his short stay. After his fortunate debut, Mann benched the prospect in the first period for repeated assignment mistakes, but he rebounded with a solid showing Sunday at South Carolina.

“That showed me something,” said Mann. “I kept him off the ice for two periods on Friday, but he played real well when I put him back out there.”

Sparre did not score, but was plus-2 for the game after finishing at minus-3 in one period in a 7-4 loss to Gwinnett on Saturday.