The world's most popular hockey video game now features women's teams for the first time ever.
NHL 22, the latest edition of EA Sports' hockey video game, pushed through an update this week that allows users to play games as 10 international women's teams.
That means NHL 22 fans can now play as Team USA, Team Canada or eight other women's teams ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympics.
"We have taken a positive step today to ensure stronger representation for women in ice hockey's digital landscape," said Luc Tardif, the International Ice Hockey Federation president. "I would like to thank our Member National Associations for their strong support of the project, and EA Sports for their interest and commitment to realizing this objective."
Hilary Knight, an assistant captain for Team USA, said Thursday on Twitter that she was "excited" to represent her country in the video game.
"We are IN. THE. GAME," she tweeted.
So excited to represent the United States in #NHL22!! 🎮 — Hilary Knight (@HilaryKnight) January 27, 2022
We are IN. THE. GAME. 🙌🔥@EASPORTSNHL
Play now and learn more ⬇️https://t.co/lGXZo6XHww pic.twitter.com/uclXGbnVnj
ESPN originally reported about the new feature last month.
"The introduction of women's national teams to NHL 22 as part of the upcoming IIHF content will be an important moment for the franchise in its continued effort to reflect the diversity of the hockey community," said EA Sports vice president Sean Ramjagsingh told the outlet at the time.