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Bergeron helps EA unveil NHL 15 video game

by Tal Pinchevsky

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has competed at hockey's highest levels, including the Stanley Cup Final, IIHF World Championship and the Winter Olympics. But he was entering unfamiliar territory on Tuesday when he helped launch EA Sports' NHL 15 video game by competing against one of his biggest fans.

Selected in an online vote to be featured on the cover of the game, Bergeron arrived at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok, where he faced 14-year-old Daniel Quigley, a diehard Bruins fan from New Jersey. Quigley earned the right to compete against his hockey idol by winning an online raffle.

Patrice Bergeron
Center - BOS
GOALS: 30 | ASST: 32 | PTS: 62
SOG: 243 | +/-: 38
"It was crazy. It was unbelievable, meeting Patrice Bergeron," Quigley said. "Playing him in NHL 15 was unreal. I should probably frame that [game] case that he signed."

With broadcasters Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk providing live play-by-play for the video game contest, Bergeron and Quigley went head-to-head for two periods, finishing in a scoreless tie.

The promotional game was part of a busy day in which EA Sports unveiled one of its signature titles. In addition to the event in midtown Manhattan, a number of NHL players handed out free copies of the game across North America. James van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Eddie Lack of the Vancouver Canucks, Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers, David Desharnais of the Montreal Canadiens, Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan distributed autographed copies in their respective NHL cities.

The game, which showcases a variety of new features, was especially impressive for Emrick and Olczyk, who provide in-game commentary along with analyst Ray Ferraro.

"My three boys have been playing all the games from EA Sports, especially the hockey. When I told them that Doc and I along with Ray Ferraro were going to be a part of the game, they thought I was pretty cool for a couple of hours," Olczyk joked. "What we hope is when people play the game and they hear us, they hear a lot of the same things when we do the games for NHL on NBC. If you watch the graphics, which are incredible, it's just like how our producers would produce the game."

The guest of honor was definitely Bergeron, who added to his impressive list of individual and team accomplishments by winning a fan vote last summer to appear on the cover. With more than 10 million votes from fans around the world, Bergeron earned the honor by defeating P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens in the final round of voting.

The friendly competition against Quigley brought back memories for Bergeron, who recalled playing as the Quebec Nordiques against his brother in the 1994 version of the game.

"Never as a kid could I imagine I'd be on the cover. To be on the cover of it is pretty humbling," Bergeron said. "It looks amazing. The evolution of the game, the graphics, the technology is pretty amazing. I used to play a lot when I was 10, 12, 14. I was playing a lot with my brother and friends."

NHL 15 is available for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 video game and entertainment systems, as well as the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system.

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