A superstar for Team Canada, Sarah Nurse has become one of the biggest names in women’s hockey.
After racking up a record 18 points at the winter Olympics this past February, she is making history yet again — on the cover of NHL 23, as the first woman to be featured on a cover for the EA Sports NHL video game franchise.
EA Sports revealed in a tweet Wednesday that Nurse would be on the cover of the latest iteration of the popular game series, alongside Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras.
“We have our first female on the cover, which I’m so honoured is me,” Nurse told TSN. “Women are in this game. So now little girls can dream of being in an NHL video game and dream of being a professional hockey player.”
The forward from Hamilton, Ont., was on vacation with her teammates celebrating Olympic gold when she got the call.
She’d never dreamed she could one day be the face of the mega-popular video game franchise.
“I, at 27 years old, placed those self-limiting beliefs on myself, that I didn’t believe I could do that,” she said. “Now little girls are going to smash that.”
The NHL video game series started in 1991 and has released a new game every year since. Which professional hockey player will be featured on the cover of the video game each year is usually a source of great speculation among fans.
The last game in the series, NHL 22, was the first to add women’s national teams to the selection of teams that players could choose.
“The fact you can play as a woman on a woman’s team is absolutely huge,” Nurse said.
There has long been a lack of representation in male dominated sports like hockey, whether it be on the ice or in video games.
TSN’s Digital SportsCentre Host, Marissa Roberto, says that Nurse is breaking down barriers.
“She embodies the sport itself, but also what it’s like for a woman and a woman of colour to be playing in this space now,” Roberto told CTV National News. “There needs to be more of it and the only way it can happen is if other girls see it is possible.”
Nurse said she hopes that being able to see themselves in this video game means girls will consider hockey and “believe they can be in this game.”
But right now, the only games Nurse is focused on are in Denmark, where she and Team Canada are beginning the quest to stay golden at the Women’s World Championship.
They take to the ice Thursday to play against Finland.
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