Canada secured their spot in the last four by beating Finland 6-1 ©IIHF

Hosts Canada secured their spot in the semi-finals of the Ice Hockey Women’s World Championships in style by thrashing Finland 6-1 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.

The Olympic gold medallists, who had bounced back from their opening day defeat at the hands of defending champions the United States by easing past Russia, ensured they finished second in Group A behind the Americans with a ruthless performance against last year’s bronze medallists.

Jennifer Wakefield was the star of the show for the home nation as she scored twice, while Marie-Philip Poulin, Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner and Jennifer Saulnier all got their names on the scoresheet in a resounding victory for the Canadian outfit.

Petra Nieminen got the sole Finnish goal as they had to settle for third place in the group.

“I think it was our best team game," Wakefield said.

"It was really good to carry through momentum.

“We played a really strong Russia game, and taking it to the next step tonight, I think it’ll be great for whoever we face in the semi-finals.”

Finland will go up against the Czech Republic in the last eight tomorrow after they squeezed through to the quarter-finals thanks to Sweden’s 2-1 win over Switzerland at the McArthur Centre.

The United States ended the group stage of the competition in style with an 8-0 victory over Russia
The United States ended the group stage of the competition in style with an 8-0 victory over Russia ©IIHF

The success for the Swedes came after the Czechs claimed a narrow 3-2 extra-time triumph over Japan as Klara Hymlarova bagged the crucial goal to move her nation to the brink of their first-ever World Women’s Championship quarter-final.

Sweden will face Russia in the other last eight clash tomorrow, with the two winners joining the United States and Canada in the semi-finals.

The Americans, bidding for a third straight title, sealed top spot in Group A as they hammered Russia 8-0 in their final round-robin contest at the Sandman Centre.

Monique Lamoureux and Hilary Knight both notched two-goal salvos, while Kendall Coyne, Megan Keller, Shiann Darkangelo and Anne Pankowski also found the net as they ended the first stage of the competition in ominous form.

“We have two days to prepare,” Lamoureux said.

“Not sure who we’re going to play yet, but I think we haven’t played our best 60 minutes yet.

“Our goal is to get better each and every game.”

In tomorrow’s other match-up, Switzerland and Japan will do battle in the first leg of the relegation play-off, with the semi-finals scheduled for Sunday (April 3).