The Michigan State Spartans ice hockey team saw its season end in a loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament Sunday, but two Spartans still earned season accolades in the days since. Juniors Drew DeRidder and Dennis Cesana earned All-Big Ten honorable mention as announced by the Big Ten Conference office yesterday (March 16). The team was voted on by a combined panel of coaches and media.
Congrats to Drew DeRidder & Dennis Cesana on earning All-B1G Honorable Mention! pic.twitter.com/8VSI8qrIjr— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) March 16, 2021
It’s the second straight All-Big Ten honor for Cesana. He was voted to the league’s second team last season. Both DeRidder and Cesana were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2018-19.
Cesana finished the 2020-21 season as the Spartans’ leader in assists (10), which tied for fifth among the Big Ten’s defensemen. He added a goal in the Big Ten Tournament that brought his season point total to 12, which ranked second on the team. Cesana also had a season high two assists in MSU’s 5-1 win over Penn State on Jan. 4. The following weekend, he had another to Josh Nodler that resulted in the game-winning goal with 37 seconds to play in a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Michigan.
DeRidder was one of the top goaltenders in the Big Ten this season. He started in 24 of 26 regular season games and led the league in both total saves, with 723, and saves per game, 30.12. His 2.76 goals against average and .923 save percentage were both career bests for DeRidder and ranked third among the Big Ten’s goaltenders that played in at least 20 games.
DeRidder earned the first shutouts of his career in 2020-21, doing so with a 30-save effort vs. Arizona State (2-0) on Nov. 20 and then again with 28 stops against Ohio State (2-0) on Jan. 24. He was twice named the Big Ten First Star of the Week. DeRidder first earned the distinction on Dec. 23 after going 1-0-1 at Notre Dame (Dec. 19-20), making 47 and 42 stops, respectively. He also earned the weekly honor on Jan. 6 after allowing just one goal in each game vs. Penn State (Jan. 3-4).
Senior Tommy Miller was named the Spartans’ recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The student-athletes chosen are also individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior inside their sports-arena.
Miller never missed a game in his career and finished the season with a goal and three assists. He was one of the top shot-blockers in the country all season and finished the year with a team-high 71 blocks.