It has been two weeks now and Suneil Karod is still relishing in the moment.
The Victoria Cougars head coach was in attendance at Prospera Centre watching the host Chilliwack Chiefs beat the Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Wellington Dukes 4-2 in the 2018 RBC Cup final.
Instead of being a mere spectator, Karod got a chance to serve under the tutelage of Chilliwack head coach Brian Maloney.
“I pre-scouted the opposition by watching film and attending all the other games. In addition, I broke down our power play and relayed it to Brian during the intermissions,” Karod said. “I was in the trenches the entire time helping with special teams, system adjustments, and who was in and out of the lineup.”
It was a once in a lifetime experience for the 35-year-old whose goal is to coach at the Junior A level someday.
Karod is on the right track, having been a carded assistant coach with the Powell River Kings for the past five seasons. But when Maloney called, Karod jumped at the opportunity.
“I was one of three assistant coaches hired on after the Chiefs made a coaching change on May 4. When Brian took over as head coach, he brought in Cam Keith, me, and Brad Rihela,” Karod said.
Chilliwack scored three unanswered third-period goals to claim their first ever RBC Cup.
During the postgame ceremonies, Karod was presented with a gold medal from the commissioner of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
“To date, this is my biggest hockey achievement. I thought I would win a Cyclone Taylor Cup before I could even think about winning an RBC, but I will definitely take this,” Karod said. “I have four league championships, three silver medals and two bronze medals from the Cyclone Taylor Cup, all very special to me, but this is by far the biggest.”
According to Karod, this experience was made more special because the organization, owners, players, and volunteers welcomed him with open arms.
“It says a lot about the Chiefs and the character of their ownership and coaches,” Karod said.
The RBC Cup features the top four regional champions across Canada and the host team.
Brooks, Alberta will be the site of the 2019 RBC Cup.