Ruggiero, Wickenheiser are in the game

When EA Sports NHL 13 video game hits stands next week, there will be something new for fans this year.

Yes, there will be new graphics and a revamped experience through EA Sports' "Hockey I.Q." program, but this will be a landmark in the game's player selections.

Former Team USA star Angela Ruggiero and Team Canada legend Hayley Wickenheiser will both be part of NHL 13, marking the first time female athletes will be playable characters in a pro simulation video game.

The four-time Olympic medalists are part of NHL 13's Legends game, joining NHL greats Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Doug Gilmour, Jari Kurri and Dominik Hasek, among others.

"The EA SPORTS NHL franchise took a big step by including female characters to create a more inclusive experience for female hockey fans," Wickenheiser said in a press release. "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 will be available on Sept. 11 in North America and Sept. 14 in Europe.

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