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College hockey

PNW joins NCHL: Purdue Northwest has joined the Northern Collegiate Hockey League. The Pride currently play at the club level. PNW will be the 11th member of the league.

Pro basketball

Gafford injured in Bulls win: Bulls center Daniel Gafford left Wednesday night's game against Washington after he dislocated his right thumb on a steal. Gafford's thumb was bent back after he picked off a pass by Ian Mahinmi early in the first quarter. The 6-foot-11 Gafford called timeout and ran off the court in the direction of the Bulls' locker room. X-rays were negative, and the team said he is expected to miss two to four weeks. The Bulls defeated the Wizards 115-106. Zach LaVine led Chicago with 30 points. Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young each added 18 points. Lauri Markkanen had 13, while Luke Kornet and Coby White each scored 10.

Auto racing

NASCAR to run Xfinity race on Indy road course for 1st time: Roger Penske already is making changes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It looks like more are on the way, too. On Wednesday, in his first major move since buying the iconic facility, Penske announced the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indy on July 4 will use the track's road course. The Cup Series race, the Brickyard 400 scheduled for July 5, will remain on the track's 2 1/2-mile oval. “Sitting down with the NASCAR team and our team, we said what can we do to make this Brickyard weekend different?" Penske explained just nine days after officially closing on the track purchase. “We want our fans to look at this and see if this something they want so we can grow this in the future. And it's going to put on some great racing."

Pro hockey

Golden Knights fire Gallant: Gerard Gallant was abruptly fired by the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday less than two years after leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season of existence and winning NHL coach of the year honors along the way. Peter DeBoer, fired last month by the San Jose Sharks, takes over immediately and will be the Vegas coach the rest of the season. General manager Kelly McCrimmon announced the change in the aftermath of a 4-2 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday night that dropped Vegas out of a playoff position in the Western Conference. The Golden Knights have lost four in a row, matching the longest point drought in their brief franchise history. “You've seen consistency issues,” McCrimmon said in Ottawa. “We are like a lot of teams — had real high hopes for the year, still have real high hopes for the year. We're in a unique position where we're right in the mix, so this isn't a case where the bottom fell out and we were left with no choice. It was a situation more where proactively it was our belief that this was going to be the best thing for our organization.” Gallant won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year for his role in helping the Golden Knights reach the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in five games to Washington. They also made the playoffs last season before losing in seven games in the first round to DeBoer's Sharks.

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