Weglarz basks in glow of Canadian win

Weglarz basks in glow of Canadian win

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Weglarz was one contented Canuck on Monday morning.

The big-bodied, red-headed outfield prospect from Stevensville, Ontario, was the only guy in the Indians' clubhouse rooting for Team Canada in Sunday's Olympic hockey final against the U.S. As the game started, Weglarz was in the middle of an interview with a newspaper reporter. His teammates tried to deke him by cheering for an imaginary U.S. goal early in the first period, but Weglarz didn't bite.

Once the interview was over, he raced home to watch the game by himself.

"I needed to focus," Weglarz said with a laugh.

Just when it seemed Canada had the gold in hand, Zach Parise tied it up for the Americans with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.

"I was a little bit nervous," Weglarz admitted. "[The Canadians] were playing defense the last 10 minutes of the period. I was kind of scared, because that always ends up with the other team scoring. But I was confident the whole time that they'd pull it out in the end."

They pulled it out seven minutes and 40 seconds into overtime, with a flick of the wrist from Sidney Crosby.

"He's arguably one of the best players in the game," Weglarz said. "It was awesome that he scored and Canada won."

Weglarz, a former third-round Draft pick who batted .227 with 16 homers and 65 RBIs at Double-A Akron last season, knows a thing or two about national pride. He was a member of the 2004 and '05 Candian Junior National baseball teams, played left field for the '07 Canadian entry in the Baseball World Cup, and was the youngest member of Team Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

He's also a rabid Toronto Maple Leafs fan who wore his Leafs jersey for each Olympic game. He also hung a Canadian flag up in his room.

That same flag had a new home Monday, when Weglarz, still beaming over the big win, hung it up in teammate Beau Mills' locker.

And that was only the beginning, it seems.

"I'm going to rub it in to as many people as I can," Weglarz said, "for the next four years."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.