Brian Phinney’s first season at the helm for Belmont Hill was an overwhelming success.
The Sextants went 21-3-3, cementing themselves as the best team in the ISL Keller division. That record earned them the No. 3 seed in the Elite 8 tournament. Their outstanding play continued through the tournament, earning them a spot in the finals against powerhouse Salisbury. They lost, but that didn’t take away from how good of a season it was for Belmont Hill.
“It was a lot of fun,” Phinney (Ripton, Vt.) said.
At the heart of Belmont Hill’s scoring was then-junior James Fisher (Burlington, Mass.) and then-freshman Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.). Fisher posted a team-high 17 goals and Stiga notched 21 points in 23 games — both ranked No. 2 and 3, respectively, on the team in scoring.
Both departed in the offseason. Fisher plays for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL, while Stiga is apart of the U17 NTDP team.
Last season’s stud goalie Sam Scopa (Lexington, Mass.) followed Fisher and Stiga out the door as well. The Quinnipiac commit is currently in net for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.
Along with those three stars, Belmont Hill graduated 10 seniors who had helped Phinney adjust to his first year as head coach of the Sextants.
Phinney will have the job of figuring out how to replace all those key cogs lost from last year’s teams.
It’s a job he’s excited about.