Caines pots shorthanded winner to put Rangers in driver’s seat

Dave Kearsey
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Adam Guy, right, of Marble Zip Tours checks Colin Lynch of Luxury Limo Rangers just inside the neutral zone during Game 2 of the best-of-five ball hockey final at the Pepsi Centre Thursday.

Tim Caines showed he has pretty good hand-eye co-ordination and now the Rangers have a stranglehold on a tough opponent.

With his team down a man, Caines scored the winner for the Rangers with just under two minutes left in regulation for a 3-2 win over Marble Zip Thursday night.

The Rangers, who almost let a 2-0 lead slip away for the second-straight game, now lead two games to nil in the Corner Brook Molson Men’s Ball Hockey League best-of-five final.

Caines followed a long flip past into enemy territory, just 15 seconds into the penalty kill, and managed to get around six-foot-three defender Andrew Smith to just get his stick on the ball to softly direct it over the shoulder of goalie Scott Walsh.

The Marble Zip squad faced a 2-0 deficit after one period of play at the Pepsi Centre, but the team’s younger legs seem to catch the Rangers off guard as they mounted pressure shift after shift for about eight minutes.

The reward came when Scott Wayson scored 50 seconds in and Daniel Smith dented the twine just over a minute later to even the contest.

Wayson was Johnny-on-the-Spot for his team’s first goal, tapping in a ball that bounced back off the end boards when Adam Guy’s one-timer missed the mark. Matt Roach made the play possible with a strong forecheck along the dasher boards to the left of Rangers goalie Adam Hicks when stripped the ball away and found Guy with a behind-the-back pass right on the tape.

Smith tapped in a short pass from Colton Kennedy at the lip of the crease at 1:53 after the ball came loose in front of a maze of players after Hicks came up with a big pad save on a Ryan Mackinnon shot from 30 feet out.

With both goalies making their share of saves early in the game to keep their respective teams within reach, it was the Rangers who put two goals up on the scoreboard in the opening stanza.

Both goals could be considered gifts as the goalscorers — Joey Bennett and Greg Whelan — were benefactors of errant passes from opposing defenders with nobody to support Walsh left alone to fend for himself in both situations.

Bennett fired a slapshot from 25 feet out uncontested, the shot clearly beating Walsh to the blocker side to give the Rangers early momentum.

Whelan picked off an errant pass Daniel Smith had intended for brother Andrew with just 2.3 seconds left on the clock and buried it past Walsh to give the Rangers a 2-0 cushion.

The Rangers can wrap up the series with a win in Game 3 Sunday night 8 p.m. at the Pepsi Centre.

Organizations: Rangers, Pepsi Centre, Hockey League

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