Professional women's hockey will take another step into the fore as the Boston Pride of the newly-formed National Women's Hockey League and Les Canadiennes of the Canadian Women's Hockey League will square off at Gillette Stadium ahead of the 2016 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game on New Year's Eve Day, the NHL announced Monday.

Rumors of a potential women's game being added to the slate had begun to swirl in the last month or so, thanks to a report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. It's an interesting set up for the two burgeoning women's hockey leagues, as the NWHL's commissioner, Dani Rylan, profiled here as part of an HNGN feature on the NWHL's inaugural season, reportedly looked into bringing a CWHL team to New York before launching the NWHL, the first professional women's league to pay its players.

The CWHL is in its ninth season of operations and while it provides money for travel, equipment and other things, does not provide a salary for its players. As such, many of the NWHL's players are former CWHL players.

The two sides will get their first crack at one another on Dec. 31.