Newburyport’s Max Bayko topped 100 points despite playing with a hand injury.

The Newburyport boys hockey team’s top scorer last winter, Max Bayko, recently learned he played half the season with a broken left hand.

Bayko, a two-time All-Cape Ann League selection, suffered the injury Jan. 24 when he was checked against the boards during a game against Lynnfield. He visited a doctor the next day and was told the injury was not a broken bone.

He played in each of the Clippers’ remaining nine games, leading the team to the Division 2 North quarterfinals.

Bayko, who was set to play baseball this spring, learned of the extent of the injury after experiencing pain during the Clippers’ preseason trip to Cape Cod last weekend. Slated to replace Jared Notargiacomo as the catcher, he noticed considerable pain whenever the ball hit his glove.

He took another trip to his doctor and, this time, learned his hand had been broken for more than two months.

“I knew it was broken right when I got hit (Jan. 24),” Bayko said. “It was really bad. There was no way I could lose my senior season. I didn’t want to say anything and risk not being able to play.”

Bayko’s first examination did not lead to the discovery of a broken bone; his doctor advised him to stay off the ice for a week to give the injury time to heal. That proved to be wishful thinking on the doctor’s part. Bayko returned to the ice two days later for a game against Wilmington.

“The doctor said, ‘Take a week off,’” said Doreen Bayko, Max’s mother. “That never happened, of course. He was determined to play, and he never gave us any indication to bring him back to the doctor.”

Bayko tallied 23 of his 45 point after the injury. The senior led Newburyport in goals (18), assists (27) and points (45). He eclipsed the 100-point barrier two games after breaking his hand and finished his career ranked 14th on the school’s all-time points list with 114.

Newburyport hockey coach Paul Yameen said Bayko did not modify physical style of play following his injury. With the exception of Yameen occasionally seeing Bayko taping his wrist, he didn’t have any idea his captain was injured.

“When (Max’s) competitive juices are flowing, there’s nothing that can stand in the way,” Newburyport coach Paul Yameen said. “He was a pleasure to coach for four years. He always said nothing could hinder him from playing.”

Bayko will have surgery on Thursday, effectively ending his baseball season. He hit .286 last season as a starting outfielder.

“Max will be missed,” Clippers baseball coach Bill Pettingell said. “He meant a lot to the team on the field but even more off of it.”

Bayko’s mother, for one, is relieved to see the doctors take her son’s decision of whether or not to play out of his hands.

“If he wasn’t catching down at the Cape, we may have never learned about the injury,” Doreen Bayko said. “It was probably aggravating it. When the doctor saw him the other day, he said, ‘Doesn’t he feel pain? He must be one tough guy.’”

Playing through injury

Newburyport senior Max Bayko played the second half of the hockey season with a broken left hand. Here are his statistics from the season.

Total Team rank

Goals 18 1

Assists 27 1

Points 45 1

Career points 114 14

*Named 2006-07 Team MVP

*Two-time All-CAL

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