Jaroslav Janus may be busy playing the role of giant-killer for Slovakia at the world junior championships, but Shane Owen and the Erie Otters are doing just fine without him.
Owen made 37 saves to record his fifth straight win while filling in for Janus as Erie continued its strong play of late by defeating the short-handed Brampton Battalion 4-1 on Friday night in the Ontario Hockey League.
Janus and team Slovakia stunned the hockey world by upsetting the U.S. 5-3 on Friday afternoon. The Erie Otters starter made 46 saves for his country and was named player of the game.
Meanwhile, Owen and the Otters haven't lost since Janus left. Erie (19-17-2-0) is on its longest winning streak since an eight-game stretch in 2002, and is two games above .500 for the first time since Nov. 17, 2005.
The short-handed Battalion (23-12-1-1) grabbed the early lead on Derek Gregorack's goal eight minutes, 19 seconds into the opening period. Brampton played without top goal scorer Cody Hodgson, fellow forward Evgeny Grachev and defenceman Alexander Eriksson, all of whom are playing at the world junior championship. The Battalion were also missing injured defenceman Ken Peroff.
Elsewhere in the OHL, it was: Guelph 6, Owen Sound 3; Kingston 5, Oshawa 0; Mississauga 3, Barrie 2; Niagara 6, Sault Ste. Marie 2; Ottawa 5, Kitchener 1; Plymouth 4, Saginaw 3; Sarnia 5, London 2; and Sudbury 5 Peterborough 2.
At Erie, Pa., Justin Hodgman tied the score less than two minutes after Gregorack's goal. Luke Gazdic scored 4:09 into the second to give Erie the lead, and Shawn Szydlowski's power-play goal extended the lead to 3-1 with 12:03 left in the second. Andrew Yogan capped the scoring in the third.
Patrick Killeen stopped 36 shots for Brampton, which fired 20 shots at Owen in the third period but couldn't find the net.