Agustina Gorzelany scored the first and last of Argentina's six goals to help them to victory over Uruguay at the Women's Pan American Cup in Santiago ©Getty Images

Olympic silver medallists Argentina cruised to a 6-0 victory over Uruguay on the opening day of hockey's Women's Pan American Cup, with Canada and the United States also clinching big wins in Santiago.

Argentina against Uruguay was the final match of the day at the Prince of Wales Country Club and the first in Pool A in a tournament seen as an important build-up to next year's Pan American Games in the Chilean capital. 

Ranked third in the world and the winners of all five Women's Pan American Cups, Argentina entered the tournament as strong favourites, and got off to a flier as Agustina Gorzelany fired them in front from a penalty corner after just two minutes.

Micaela Retegui doubled their lead seven minutes later, with Agustina Albertarrio making it 3-0 by half-time.

Delfina Thome Gustavino and Celina Di Santo made it 5-0 against a Uruguayan side ranked 26th in the world, with Gorzelany completing the scoring.

Earlier in the day, Canada opened the tournament by thrashing Peru 14-0 in Pool B.

Brienne Stairs hit five goals including the three-time Pan American Cup bronze medallists' first and last of the afternoon, with Jordyn Faiczak and Elise Wong grabbing two apiece.

Alison Lee, Madison Thompson, Elise Wong, Sara McManus, Amanda Woodcroft and Madeline Secco were also on the scoresheet.

The US - runners-up at the first four editions of the Cup and bronze medallists on home turf in 2017 – overwhelmed Trinidad and Tobago 16-0.

It took just one minute for Elizabeth Yeager to get off the mark for the Americans, who are 15th in the world rankings.

Yeager was one of three players to notch hat-tricks, with Erin Matson also scoring three and Hope Rose four.

Ashely Sessa found the net twice, including her team's second after just four minutes, with Sofía Southam, Alia Marshall, Danielle Grega and Lauren Moyer also chipping in with goals.

Peru and Trinidad and Tobago have an opportunity to bounce back from their heavy defeats when they are due to meet in Friday's (January 21) first match, followed by the US against Canada.

Hosts and 2017 runners-up Chile are then due to start their tournament against Argentina.

The Men's Pan American Cup is set to begin tomorrow, with Canada playing Mexico and the US meeting Trinidad and Tobago in Pool B, followed by Argentina against Brazil in Pool A.