NHL 13 introduces playable female Olympians

Though the female teams of gender-segregated sports may be far less popular unless they wear skimpy outfits, it's a shame that they're so often entirely excluded from sports video games. Huzzah, then, that EA is continuing its ladyfication of ice hockey in NHL 13 with a pair of female Olympic ice hockey medalists.

Team USA member Angela Ruggiero and Canadian Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser will be playable Legends in NHL 13, across the Be A Legend, Hockey Ultimate Team, and Be a GM modes. They also have each picked their own Legends teams, which they captain.

NHL 12 added female faces to Be a Pro's character creator following a letter from a teenaged hockey player frustrated by having to represent herself with hockeymen. Or so the marketing story goes, anyway. Now, NHL 13 is adding actual female players.

"This year we are very excited to continue our effort of creating a more representative experience for female hockey fans by adding two of the greatest female athletes to ever play the game in Wickenheiser and Ruggiero to NHL 13," EA Sports general manager Dean Richards said.

"The EA Sports NHL franchise took a big step last year by including female characters to create a more inclusive experience for female hockey fans," Hayley Wickenheiser added. "I'm excited to be a part of NHL 13 and hope that the addition of women's hockey legends will encourage greater participation in hockey from young women everywhere."

NHL 13 skates onto Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 11.