Canada beat Finland 5-3 on the opening day of the tournament in Sweden ©IIHF/Chris Tanouye

Canada battled back from three goals down to stun defending champions Finland as the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 World Championship began in Sweden today.

Brayden Tracey scored the equaliser and Canada's fourth before Peyton Krebs completed the comeback to round off a dramatic 5-3 win in the Group A encounter at A3 Arena in Umeå.

Finland appeared on course for an ideal start to their title defence when Aku Raty, Anton Saarela and Anton Lundell gave them a 3-0 lead.

Jamieson Rees pulled one back for Canada before Alex Newhook further reduced the deficit in the second period.

After the restart, Tracey restored parity and then added a second to put Canada ahead for the first time.

Victory was sealed in the third period when Tracey finished off a perfect pass from Connor Zary.

Elsewhere in the group, Belarus upset the Czech Republic with a 4-3 win.

In Group B, the United States and Russia won their opening matches against hosts Sweden and Slovakia at Fjällräven Centre in Örnsköldsvik

Both sides were in good scoring form, the US thrashing Sweden 6-1 and Russia overcoming Slovakia 6-3.

The tournament continues tomorrow.