The Minnesota Wilderness took the ice on Monday morning for its first practice of the 2016 season and its first practice with the team's new head coach, Tim Madsen.

Madsen takes over for Cloquet, Minn. native Corey Millen, who had his contract not renewed last spring after three seasons in charge of the club.

For Madsen, a native of Elk River, Minn., the chance to coach a new team in his home state is a challenge he's been waiting for.

"The night before our first practice, it was like I was a peewee again and had a game the next day," he said. "I didn't sleep a lot that night. It's exciting."

Minnesota, which won the Robertson Cup in the 2014-15 season, returns only six players from last season, so Madsen's isn't the only new face in town.

He says that can be a good thing, especially once this group gets comfortable with his system on the ice.

"I like speed. I think we're going to be fast and competitive," Madsen said. "I like players with high hockey IQ, and most importantly we're going to have a lot of good kids on this team."

Minnesota has an exhibition scrimmage Thursday and will officially open the year Sept. 16-17 with a road series against Janesville.