| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pine-Richland forward finding his scoring touch

Pine Creek
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Pine-Richland forward Dillon Kessy has been on a scoring tear the past nine games as the Rams push toward the playoffs.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Through the first seven games of the PIHL hockey season, Pine-Richland forward Dillon Kessy netted three goals, but he was more of a distributor, as he tallied 14 assists.

During the past nine games, Kessy has lit the lamp at an alarming rate, as he scored 21 goals and still maintained his role as a distributor with 10 assists.

His totals for his senior season have surpassed his high school career totals, and the senior is not finished as he hopes to help his team get back to the Penguin Cup finals.

Looking at the top line for the Rams through 16 games, the top line of Zach Richey (24 goals, 20 assists) Ryan Cole (7 goals, 20 assists) and Kessy (24 goals, 24 assists) is always a threat to score.

“Dillon is a deceiving player because of his speed and finesse,” Pine-Richland coach Mike Bagnato said. “If you are not careful, he will skate right by you. He has good hands and has a good shot.”

Bagnato said Kessy has a knack for hitting his spots on the net. He said the senior can lift the puck off the ice, making it tough for a goalie to judge exactly where the puck will be when it reaches the crease.

“Dillon can read the five-hole well,” Bagnato said. “Goalies earn their saves against him.”

Kessy was born in Canada, then moved when he was 12 to Ithaca, N.Y. for two years before coming to Pittsburgh three years ago.

Kessy said the level of high school hockey play in New York is comparable to Pittsburgh, and he was excited to be a part of the Rams' tradition. He hopes to finish the season strong and get the team back on the big stage at Consol Energy Center.

“When I lived in Canada, I got to play on the Calgary Flames' rink in a scrimmage between periods of a Flames game,” Kessy said. “That was amazing.”

Kessy's scoring touch has been amazing as of late, and he credits the success to chemistry on the top line and keeping his head up.

“Me, Zach and Ryan work well together,” Kessy said. “We pass well and work on the power play. The main thing is keeping my head up so I can beat a defenseman and a goalie.

“I try to outsmart them and move the puck quickly.”

Kessy likes the group of guys he met when he came to the Rams and said to be successful, they have to work hard as a team. If that happens, it will cancel out any errors made.

The senior said his size helps him score and enables him to do some of the dirty work to help his linemates out.

“It's a one-game-at-a-time, one-shift-at-a-time focus,” Kessy said. “Do your job. If we do that, the big picture will be OK.”

Bagnato said Kessy was elected as an alternate captain because he is a leader by example.

“He is a quiet kid who really loves to play hockey,” Bagnato said. “I was double-shifting him on offense and defense early in the season. But when the defense stepped up, I was able to change it up and he got more cracks at scoring. He and Zach feed off each other.”

Kessy has seven multi-goal games. He scored five against West Allegheny and has netted three hat tricks on the season.

Of all the goals he has scored, he notes a goal from his eighth-grade season that gave his team a 2-1 win as his favorite because it helped his team win that game.

Kessy is not sure where he will continue his education but said he plans to make hockey a part of that experience.

“I hope to play prep hockey, but if that doesn't work out I will play club hockey,” he said.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
  2. Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
  3. Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
  4. Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
  5. 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
  6. Inside The Steelers: LB Williams dominates backs-on-backers drill at Latrobe Memorial Stadium
  7. Pittsburgh Police motorcycle officer injured in crash
  8. 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
  9. Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
  10. Heroin suspect out of Westmoreland County jail on $100K bond
  11. Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list