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Michigan State Hockey: Drew DeRidder transfers to North Dakota for final year

DeRidder finishes fifth all-time in save percentage among MSU goalies.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 14 Michigan State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan State men’s ice hockey goaltender Drew DeRidder entered the transfer portal four days after MSU’s season ended. He has now announced that North Dakota will be his home for his final season of eligibility.

DeRidder helped Michigan State fight its way to a fringe tournament spot in late-December, but those hopes were halted after the Spartans lost senior Mitchell Lewandowski. MSU proceeded to lose 15 of its final 16 games.

Over the course of his career, DeRidder had a .916 save percentage and allowed 2.95 goals per game. He played his best hockey during his last season, including a 48-save performance against Wisconsin. In both games against the Badgers, DeRidder stopped a total of 88 shots.

In games where the Spartans were overmatched and outshot by dozens, he kept MSU in the game.

DeRidder was named a Big Ten Star of the Week twice: following games against UMass Lowell and Notre Dame. He was also in net for two overtime victories, one against Notre Dame and one against Michigan Tech. He had assists on the game-winning goals of each of those games.

DeRidder’s .916 save percentage is fifth among Michigan State goaltenders all-time.

But despite DeRidder’s success in net, the team didn’t have any. While at the program, Michigan State finished in last place three times and second-to-last once.

DeRidder mentioned team success as a driving factor in his decision.

“I loved my time here at Michigan State,” DeRidder told The Grand Forks Herald. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, or the way anyone wanted it to, for that matter. I wanted to go somewhere where we’d win some hockey games. My last year, I wanted to go to a solidified program and be able to help them win hockey games.”

At North Dakota, DeRidder will fill the spot of Zach Driscoll, who transferred to UND last year from Bemidji State and was the runner-up for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Goaltender of the Year.

For the Spartans, soon-to-be junior Pierce Charleson will likely become Michigan State’s full-time starting goaltender. A backup would either come from recruiting or the transfer portal.