The Malaysians in pulling the rug from under the world No. 19 ranked team took a 3-0 lead by the 56th minute.
Noraini Hashim put Malaysia in front with a field attempt in the 18th minute and then scored the third goal in the 56th minute. Norfaraha Hashim scored the other goal in the 49th minute off a penalty corner.
But in a three-minute, Malaysia handed Canada two goals.
The Canadians forced a penalty stroke in the 56th minute immediately after Noraini had scored the third goal.
Diana Roemer made the conversion and Canada went on to make a fight to save the match.
In the 59th minute, Anna Kuzniuk scored a field goal to put Malaysia on the edge. But the Malaysians hung on to troop out with full points.
Malaysia, who are ranked 24th in the world, will still have a tough time in their other matches in the group against New Zealand, England and Wales.
National coach Yahya Atan said that they adopted a right game plan to take command of the match early on.
“The players must be commended for not fearing their more fancied opponents. They took their chances well and played it right from the start,” he said.
“But the team committed mistakes to allow the Canadians to get back into the match. We have to look into this as we cannot afford to do that against the top teams. It is important that the players stay calm under pressure.”
Malaysia will be up against tournament favourites New Zealand today.