Pittsburgh Penguins fans have named their baby after Phil Kessel.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Penguins fans Nicole and Adam Hillman welcomed a newborn boy to their family on Mother’s Day at a Pittsburgh hospital. While the couple didn’t know the gender of the baby until the birth, there was a plan in place for the name if it was a boy.
And now, the Hillmans are the proud parents of Kessel Ryan, named in honor of Penguins winger Phil Kessel.
Via Pittsburgh’s WTAE:
“The perfect name for our son,” Adam Hillman said.
Little Kessel was born while his father played “Let’s Go Pens” in the delivery room, mother Nicole said. Nicole said after baby Kessel was born, they realized, it was meant to be.
“Sure enough, they put me in bed No. 81,” Nicole said, referring to Phil Kessel’s jersey number.
Interestingly, little Kessel Ryan’s birth came a day before his namesake’s heroic Game 2 performance in Pittsburgh’s 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals.
First, Kessel got the Penguins bench fired up with a passionate tirade with the game knotted up 0-0.
And then he notched the game-winner late in the third period to knot the series up at one game apiece.
The timing of Kessel’s goal wasn’t lost on the Hillmans, either, given the facts surrounding Kessel Ryan’s birth.
“He was born at 6:53 p.m. and the winning goal was scored [with 6:55 remaining in the 3rd period],” Nicole said.
Kessel has been a revelation for the Penguins since joining the team ahead of the 2015-16 NHL season. Not only did he contribute to the Penguins hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup last season, he scored one the most important goals so far for the team this postseason with Monday’s tally.
And now, Kessel has a baby named after him in Pittsburgh. Pretty cool stuff, to be sure.