SAN DIEGO — Jim Gorsek took off his gloves, and flashed his left hand to a couple of reporters Saturday night.
Two of his fingers were swollen to double their normal size. Gorsek said they might be broken.
Earlier in the evening, Gorsek had stopped 18 shots and led his new team, the Los Angeles Lazers, to a 5-2 victory over his old one, the Sockers, in front of 11,002 fans in the San Diego Sports Arena.
The fingers hurt afterward, but Gorsek was smiling.
"This is a win that feels real good," he said. "You always want to beat the team that got rid of you. These fingers have been hurting for a couple of days now, but there's no way they could have kept me from playing in this game."
The Sockers, who gave up on Gorsek this summer after he helped them win six indoor championships, probably wished they hadn't seen him again so soon.
They were unable to score until just over 7 minutes remained, and by that time, the Lazers were already cruising, 3-0.
"We picked up a lot of new players this season but everybody said all we did was play offense," Lazers Coach Keith Tozer said. "But we played great defense in this game. We took care of them first, then we took care of ourselves."
The Lazers' task was made easier when the Sockers' top scorer of a year ago, Branko Segota, left the game at the end of the first quarter with a pulled leg muscle. It's possible Segota could be lost to the Sockers for up to 2 weeks.
Gorsek and midfielder Waad Hirmez, who also left to play in Los Angeles this summer, will be lost to the Sockers a lot longer than that.
Hirmez also hurt his old team Saturday, scoring 2 goals. Gary Heale added 2 goals, and Steve Kinsey scored once as the Lazers put a little credence in the preseason coaches poll that picked them to finish first in the league this season.
"They may still win it, but I don't feel they outplayed us at all," Sockers Coach Ron Newman said. "I mean, we lost our top scorer, and that hurt us, but we didn't stop coming after them."
Indeed, after being outshot, 7-1, in the first quarter, the Sockers came back to outshoot the Lazers, 35-21, for the game.
They were unable to slip anything past Gorsek, however, until Zoran Karic scored on a penalty kick.
Karic scored again 2 minutes later to bring the Sockers within 3-2, but the Lazers took control again soon thereafter.
Hector Marinaro broke free down the right side and fired a shot that Zoltan Toth stopped. But the rebound deflected out to Heale, and he headed the ball into the net for a 4-2 Lazers' lead with 4:30 remaining. The final goal was into an empty net by Hirmez with 13 seconds left.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Lazers took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Heale 6 minutes into the second quarter.
Fernando Clavijo, another former Socker and known for his speed, was fast off a re-start at the right of the Sockers' goal.
Clavijo passed to Daryl Doran at the right point, and before either Toth or the Socker defense could adjust, Doran fired a low shot that slid underneath Toth and toward the goal.
Heale ran in and gave the ball a tap to get credit for the score.
Later, 2 minutes before halftime, the Sockers looked as if they would tie the game when a shot by Brian Quinn eluded Gorsek.
But Lazer defender Mark Frederickson kicked the ball away to keep the Lazers in front. Moments later, Frederickson made a similar play to stop Paul Dougherty, and the half ended with the Lazers ahead, 1-0.
Defender Hormoz Tabrizi did not dress for Saturday night's opener because of a bad back. Tabrizi will probably be ready to play in the Sockers' next game, Friday night in the Sports Arena against the Kansas City Comets . . . Cacho, another defender, who missed Saturday's game because of problems getting his visa cleared is expected to arrive in San Diego Monday . . . Everything seems to be all right in Wichita, where the Wings' franchise nearly folded this summer. The Wings sold out their season opener Saturday night (9,686) and then defeated Kansas City, 4-3. . . . Friday night's MISL opener between Dallas and Tacoma went well into Saturday morning before Dallas won in the third overtime, 6-5.