Tacoma Ends Losing Streak, While Lazers Continue Theirs

Times Staff Writer

Something had to give in Saturday night's Forum matchup between the Lazers and the Tacoma Stars as each was trying to end frustrating losing streaks.

The Stars had lost 10 consecutive road games, and the Lazers had dropped 5 straight at home.

It seemed as if the Lazers would be the beneficiary, jumping to a 3-0 lead. But, an offensive display, led by six-time scoring champion Steve Zungul's four goals, gave the Stars a 10-6 victory before an announced crowd of 6,688.

Trailing, 4-1, at the end of the first quarter, the Stars appeared stunned, but they rebounded quickly on defense and exploded on offense, scoring the next six goals. It was only their second road victory of the season. Both came against the Lazers.

The Forum must seem like a house of horrors to the Lazers (10-12) as they tied a club-record for consecutive home losses and have given up 37 goals in their last four games.

"I don't know where our defense has been the last four games," said Lazer Coach Keith Tozer. "It's mind-boggling to me."

Their 3-8 home record is by far the worst in the league and the Lazers have fallen from one game out of first--a position they held the first week of January--to third place, eight games behind the San Diego Sockers.

With the win, the Stars (13-13) are in second, trailing the Sockers by seven games.

The first quarter was all Lazers, who took a 3-0 lead 3:26 into the first period on a goal by Paul Child and two by Chris Chueden.

They looked sharp and were seemingly on their way to an easy win. But 3:26 does not a night make. The Lazers have scored first in their last four games, only to fall apart as the game progresses.

That trend continued Saturday night.

Preki, the league's leading scorer with 59 goals and 29 assists, scored one goal and had two assists. Another sure goal was nullified when Borja used his hands to knock the ball away, resulting in a penalty kick.

Zungul took the kick and scored his 27th goal this season 10:33 into first period. The Lazers were able to keep up the pressure as Child scored his second goal from the post, giving the Lazers a 4-1 lead at the end of the first period.

The second period marked the beginning of another pitiful defensive display and an offensive collapse by the Lazers. Five different players scored for the Stars, giving them a 6-4 halftime lead.

The remainder of the game was After that it was all Tacoma, or more specifically Zungul, who improved his totals to 30 goals and gained notched his 97th career hat-trick.

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