Washington-Lee's Jack Stanley carries the puck. The Generals take on W.T. Woodson Friday. (Chris Vargas)

Six years ago, Georgetown Visitation’s program began with a dozen girls. But thanks to a surge in hockey’s popularity in the District, including a 55 percent increase in USA Hockey participation from the 2007-08 season to 2017-08, Visitation’s club team numbers have exploded. With over 50 players, the school could field three teams in each division of the MAGHL.

Coach Conrad Rehill said that because the club is now the largest on Visitation’s campus, some people would prefer to have both an official varsity team and a club team.

“The main difference between varsity and club at Visitation is that we will try to accommodate as many players as we can versus having only two teams [Varsity and JV] with a fixed number of players,” Rehill said. Creating a separate varsity and junior varsity designation “would necessitate cutting more than half of those interested in playing.”

And those interested in playing need a rink at which to play. “There simply aren’t enough hockey rinks in the area,” Rehill said. “If we wanted to have both a varsity and club level team, then we’d need to find additional practice slots. We currently have one practice each week at the Cabin John rink, which is split between our three teams. That is a lot of girls on the ice at one time.”

Whether Visitation chooses to create a varsity and junior varsity model, the team is fulfilling its two goals. “From the games that we’ve played thus far, I don’t think winning the league playoffs is an unrealistic goal,” Rehill said, “and from the smiles that we’ve had so far I think the girls are having fun playing together.”

1: Georgetown Prep (5-0) Last ranked: 2

The Little Hoyas scored wins over DeMatha and Churchill ahead of their Christmas break. They will play Churchill in a rematch when they return.

2: DeMatha (5-2-1) LR: 3

The Stags are coming off a 5-4 loss to Georgetown Prep. They are slated to take on Calvert Hall Wednesday night.

3: Washington-Lee (5-0) LR: 4

The Generals nabbed a 4-3 win over Bishop Ireton and will take on W.T. Woodson on Friday.

4: Yorktown (5-0) LR: 5

After beating Westfield/Champe, 5-3, the Patriots take on undefeated Chantilly on Friday for the top of the NVSHL’s Norris Division.

5: Chantilly (5-0) LR: NR

Owen Morgan and Michael Peak lead the NVSHL with 16 points each.

6: Marriotts Ridge (2-1-0) LR: 10

The Mustangs sit atop the Howard County division of the MSHL and now face a back-to-back against Urbana and Mount Hebron.

7: Glenelg (1-0) LR: 9

The Gladiators, led by Tommy Tracy’s seven points, play Mount Hebron on Friday night.

8: Gonzaga (3-2-1) LR: 1

After suffering losses to Georgetown Prep and O’Connell, the Eagles are out of the top spot for the first time in two seasons. They will play St. Albans next.

9: Landon (1-1) LR: 7

After a cancellation against Whitman, the Bears lost to St. John’s and have a chance to rebound against Spalding on Friday.

10: Churchill (6-3-2) LR: 6

The Bulldogs suffered losses to Georgetown Prep and St. Albans. They will return from their Christmas break to play Bethesda-Chevy Chase on New Year’s Day.

Dropped out: O’Connell (5-4) LR: 8

On the bubble: T.C. Williams, Bishop Ireton, Wootton