Switzerland top Group B at the IIHF World Championship after beating Canada 3-2 ©IIHF/Matt Zambonin

Switzerland strengthened their position on top of Group B at the Ice Hockey World Championship being co-hosted by Finland and Latvia thanks to a 3-2 win over last year's runners-up Canada.

After a goalless first period at the Arena Riga, where Group B matches are taking place, Canada took the lead through Tyler Tofoli but Switzerland finished the second period 2-1 thanks to goals from Nico Hischier and Dario Simion.

Andes Ambuhl made it 3-1 early in the third period, and while Canada pulled one goal back through Michael Carcone, they could do no more and now stand third in the group on 11 points, four behind Switzerland.

The Czech Republic stand second after their 2-0 win over Norway thanks to goals from Dominik Kubalik and Jakub Flek.

Meanwhile, co-hosts Latvia went to town against Kazakhstan, winning 7-0 in front of a crowd of 9,200 to tighten their grip on the fourth automatic qualifying position for the quarter-finals.

In Group A the United States, who lost the bronze medal match to the Czech Republic last year, remained top on 15 points thanks to a 3-0 win over Denmark at Tampere’s Nokia Arena thanks to goals in the final period from Cutter Gauthier, Alex Tuch and Rocco Grimaldi.

Defending champions Finland had to work hard for a 3-1 win over Austria that keeps them in third place, two points behind the leaders.

Their goals came from Kasperi Kapanen, Antti Suomela and Ahti Oksanen.

Sweden are second on 14 points after their 4-0 victory over France.

Match of the day tomorrow promises to be the meeting at the Arena Riga between Switzerland, who have won five from five, and the Czech Republic, two points behind them in Group B.