Hockey Operations


Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations:Tim Madsen

Tim Madsen Coach - jpeg

Tim Madsen begins his 2nd season with the Wilderness after leading the team to a 32-22-6 record in his 1st season as Head Coach. Last season, the Wilderness lost in game-5 of the division-finals with the chance to go to the Robertson Cup. Ten players from the team moved on to play division one hockey, seven players moved on to division three hockey, and one player signed a professional contract in Europe.

Tim came to the Wilderness after spending the last 7 seasons at Division I Niagara University, five of those seasons as Assistant Coach and the last two as Associate Head Coach.

While at Niagara, Madsen also oversaw all recruiting efforts. Niagara won the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Championship, and received the league’s first ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Niagara went on to lose 2-1 to the University of North Dakota.

Prior to Niagara, Madsen was the Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator for the St. Louis Bandits in the NAHL. The Bandits went on to post a 42-9-7 record, the division championship, best record in the league, and the Robertson Cup National Championship. Sixteen players from the Bandits ended up playing Division I College Hockey, and three have since played in the NHL.

As a player and captain at Niagara, Madsen was a part of two regular season championships, and one playoff championship. Prior to playing for Niagara, Madsen played for the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL and was a part of the Waterloo Blackhawks first ever USHL Tier I National Championship.

A Native of Elk River, Minnesota – Madsen grew up playing for Elk River High School. Before leaving for the USHL his Senior Year of high school, Madsen was a part of two State Tournament teams, including the 2001 Minnesota State Championship team.
Tim resides in Duluth, MN with his wife, Ellen.

Assistant Coach: Michael Benedict

Michael Benedict is entering his second season as assistant coach with the Minnesota Wilderness in 2016-17. Prior to being behind the bench for the Wilderness, Benedict served as Assistant Coach for the Corpus Christi IceRays, also of the North American Hockey League.

Benedict played two seasons in the NAHL. In his rookie season 2009 -10, he played 43 games for the Alexandria Blizzard where he scored 3 goals and 3 assists before getting traded in the offseason to the Corpus Christi IceRays. During Benedict’s second season in 2010-11, he amassed 24 goals and 20 assists in 58 games and was named Player of the Year for the IceRays.  Benedict went on to play at Division I Niagara University and was a three-time Scholar Athlete. He played three seasons for the Purple Eagles before suffering a career ending injury during his junior season. In his fourth year at Niagara, Benedict served as a graduate assistant coach which helped him pave the path to where he is today. Benedict graduated Magna Cum Laude and received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Sciences in May of 2014. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Off the ice, Benedict was heavily involved in the community. At Niagara, he assisted with the Jr. Purple Eagles Youth Hockey Program. The year he played for the IceRays, he received the Community Service Award for his commitment, dedication, and service.

Assistant Coach: Riley Colvard

Riley Colvard is entering his first season as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wilderness.  Prior to joining the Wilderness, Colvard, during his first two years of college, worked as a scout and part-time assistant coach with the Austin Bruins from 2013-2015.
Colvard, a Centerville, MN native, played high school hockey for Centennial High School before graduating in 2011.  He went on to play two seasons in the NAHL with the Austin Bruins.  In his rookie season 2011-12, he was limited to 12 games after suffering a season ending injury where he scored 2 goals and had 4 assists.  In his second season with the Bruins he was named assistant captain where he played 50 games putting up 11 goals and 17 assists.  Colvard went on to play Division III hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  In his career with Stout he appeared in 99 games scoring 19 goals, 29 assists.  In his senior season with Stout he received first team All-Conference honors for the WIAC.  Colvard received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Wellness and Fitness in May of 2017.


Head Scout:  Sean Fish (Minnesota)

Tommy Lundgren (Northern Minnesota)

Rick Wesp (Minnesota)

Willie Scholz (Minnesota)

Zack Bargy (Michigan)

Ryan Peltoma (Chicago)

Matt Johnson (Eastern)