Hilary Knight is now the IIHF Women's World Championship's all-time top goalscorer after grabbing the second in the US' 6-0 triumph over the Russian Olympic Committee ©Getty Images

Defending champions the United States and hosts Canada made it three wins from three at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship at the WinSport Arena in Calgary.

The US thrashed the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) 6-0, while Canada cruised to a 5-0 win against Switzerland.

In Group B, Japan secured a quarter-final berth with a 4-1 victory over Hungary.

History was made in the US match, as Hilary Knight became the IIHF Women's World Championship's leading all-time scorer.

Britta Curl had grabbed her first goal at the tournament, before Knight’s moment came early in the second period as she struck her 45th goal at the Worlds, with Brianna Decker also becoming her country’s leading assists provider on 39.

Knight needs one more point to equal the all-time American points record, currently held by Cammi Granato on 78.

"When Decks has the puck, you just got to get open," Knight said afterwards.

"She's on the half wall.

"Just coming in there, I was able to find some space and put the puck in the back of the net.

"I was shooting on that goalie in the same spot a couple times, and I missed and just wanted to make sure I got it this time."

Lee Stecklein made it 3-0 shortly before the end of the second period, before Kelly Pannek and Abbey Murphy added further goals during the American power play in the third period, with Jesse Compher completing the rout.

Canada continued their search for a first IHHF Women's World Championship title since 2012 with a 5-0 win against Switzerland ©Getty Images
Canada continued their search for a first IHHF Women's World Championship title since 2012 with a 5-0 win against Switzerland ©Getty Images

The ROC will look to secure third place in the group in their final match against Finland tomorrow.

Canada is the only other nation to earn gold at the Women’s World Championship, and has won the competition a record 10 times, although not since 2012 - its only triumph in the last nine editions.

The Canadians became leading scorers so far at this year’s championship, putting five past the Swiss to take their goal tally up to 15, but the match was partly overshadowed when captain Marie-Philip Poulin blocked a shot in the third period around her neck and collar bone and was forced to leave the ice.

For the third successive match, the hosts failed to score in the first period, but Emily Clark set them on their way in the second, with Jaime Bourbonnais and Natalie Spooner then beating Swiss goalkeeper Andrea Braendli in quick succession, and Melodie Daoust making it 4-0 just before the end of the period.

Spooner’s second of the match early in the third period completed the scoring.

Canadian coach Troy Ryan said he was pleased with how his side’s ruthlessness.

"The part we liked about tonight's game is the types of goals we scored tonight were playoff-type goals, net front, jamming away from below the goal line," Ryan commented.

"Those are the types of goals we're going to have to score moving forward.

"It was good to see."

Switzerland finish their preliminary-round campaign on Thursday (March 26), looking at avoid bottom spot in Group A against Finland, while Canada play the US later that day to decide who tops the group.

All five teams from the group will advance to the quarter-finals, with the standings determining their path to the final on August 31, while the top three from Group B will progress, with no relegation in place for the bottom two at this year’s tournament.

Japan ensured a top-three finish with a 4-1 win against Hungary, who are still without a point.

They capitalised on the sending off of Hungary’s Petra Szamosfalvi just before the end of the first period as Akane Shiga grabbed the first goal of the game, although Hungary equalised in a power play of their own early in the second period, with captain Fanni Gasparics firing home.

Rui Ukita restored Japan’s lead during a five-on-three power play, before Haruna Yoneyama and Hanae Kubo wrapped up their second win of the tournament in the third period.

Coach Yuji Iizuka was pleased with how Japan responded despite the adverse circumstances in the build-up to the tournament.

"It's been a hard time the last two and a half years," he said.

"We've had almost no opportunities to play the game on the international stage."

There are three games tomorrow, with the ROC facing Finland in Group A, before the top two in the other group meet as the Czech Republic take on Germany, while Denmark play Hungary as both seek to avoid the wooden spoon.