Sweden won their opening match of the tournament ©Swedish Bandy Association

Sweden began their Women’s Bandy World Championship title defence with a comfortable victory over Finland in Åby.

The host nation eased to victory at the Eriksson Arena as the Pool A event began, featuring four teams.

Tilda Ström scored four of Sweden’s goals during an 11-2 victory over Finland, with Emma Ahlander and Ida Friman also scoring twice.

Moa Friman, Matilda Svenler and Vilma Josefsson also scored for Sweden, while Joanna Nykanen found the net twice for Finland with consolation efforts.

The second Group A match saw Norway earn a 4-3 victory over the United States.

Norway will hope to challenge Sweden at the tournament having finished third in the 2020 event.

Sweden and Russia have met in all 10 World Championship finals to date.

Sweden triumphed on nine occasions, with Russia’s sole victory coming in 2014.

The Federation of International Bandy (FIB) confirmed earlier this month that Russia would not participate, with the nation largely excluded from international sport following its invasion of Ukraine.

Group A matches will continue tomorrow with Norway set to test themselves against the host nation.

The semi-finals will be held on March 26, with medal matches the following day.

Pool B competition also began today.

Britain eased to an 8-0 win over Switzerland in their first match of the competition, before the Netherlands recorded a 4-2 victory against Estonia.

Ukraine had been due to compete at the World Championships, but will be absent due to the ongoing conflict.