I must tell you up front that I am relatively new to the world of Division III hockey. So with this being my first time making picks on D-III hockey games, I will warn you that I could end up looking like a fool once the games are played.

Still, I’ve never backed down from a challenge, and I’ve selected a few games from each day of the first week of the season. It’s always tough to pick games early in a year, because you are still trying to figure out which teams are really good and which teams are not going to be as good as expected.

Only time will tell how it all turns out. I’m not sure if I’ll get the scores right, but if I can get the winner right, I’ll be able to take some confidence into the rest of the season.

Now, without further delay, I am ready to roll.

Friday, Nov. 2

St. Norbert at Augsburg
Playing the two-time defending national champion is never an easy task, and while playing at home is helpful, the Auggies are up against a team that hasn’t given up a goal in its first three games. I don’t think Augsburg is going to be able to score enough to get a win. St. Norbert 4-1

St. Thomas at Concordia (Minn.)
Concordia has given up 10 goals already, and life for the Cobbers won’t get any easier with the defending conference champs coming to town. The Tommies have too much offensive firepower and should win easily. St. Thomas 5-1

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Gustavus Adolphus
The Pointers are still searching for their first goal of the season. They may find it against the Golden Gusties, but they won’t generate enough offense to nail down the win. Gustavus Adolphus 6-1

Wisconsin-Stout at St. John’s
The Blue Devils have been competitive early in the year, but playing on the road against the Johnnies is going to be challenging. I think Wis.-Stout will keep it close, but the Johnnies will find a way to win. St. John’s 5-2

Saturday, Nov. 3

Wisconsin-Eau Claire at Bethel
Bethel should be effective offensively again against the Blugolds, but if the Royals are going to nail down the win, they will need to step up defensively. With this being a home game, I’ll give the edge to the Royals. Bethel 5-3

St. Norbert at Gustavus Adolphus
As  I said earlier, playing a national champion is tough, be it home or away, and while I expect the Golden Gusties to give St. Norbert its best shot, they will probably fall short in what should be a tightly-played game. St. Norbert 4-2

Wisconsin-River Falls at Hamline
The Pipers have shown signs of promise, but the Falcons have played well early on. Hamline will play hard, but I don’t think it will be enough to earn a win. Wis.River Falls 6-2

Wisconsin-Superior at St. Olaf
The Oles will be facing one of the better teams in the NCHA and will need to be on top of their game to pull out a win. This one is going to be close, but I’ll give the slight edge to the Yellowjackets. Wis.-Superior 4-3

Thursday, Nov. 8

St. Thomas at St. John’s
Talk about an early-season showdown. The Tommies are the favorite in the MIAC, and the Johnnies will be a contender for the title. St. Thomas knows it’s going to get St. John’s best shot, and this one should be close all the way through. Goaltending should make a difference in the outcome, and I’m giving the edge to the Tommies, although I won’t be surprised if the Johnnies prevail. St. Thomas 3-2