The champion of the WPHL competed against Houghton, Michigan's Portage Lakes Hockey Club for the "Pro Championship of the United States" prior to the formation of the International Professional Hockey League for the 1904-05 season. Portage Lakes played off with the Pittsburgh Bankers. Portage Lakes won the four game series 2-1 with a game tied, but they were outscored 11-6. The next season, Portage Lakes continued to play Pro exhibition games, but raided Pittsburgh's teams for top players like Riley Hern and Bruce Stuart.
Despite these losses the WPHL started with the same four clubs, but the Keystones withdrew from the league on January 17, 1904. The team's players were then dispersed to the other three teams. Many other promising young players took their place and three different Pittsburgh teams challenged Portage Lakes for the U.S. Pro title that year. The league champion Victorias put up the best battle, losing two games to one.
In 1904, the first inter-city professional league was formed called the International Professional Hockey League (IHL). The WPHL was suspended with the most skilled players joining the Pittsburgh Professionals and playing in the International Professional Hockey League. Over half of the players in the league had played in Pittsburgh at one time, so the early league a key pioneer in the development of professional hockey. Around 1904 another milestone was reached by a Pittsburgh player. That year Garnet Sixsmith, who played in the WPHL, became the first hockey player to use aluminum skates, after he noticed that they were used by speed skaters. Wanting more speed in his game, Garnet then had aluminum ice skates custom-made with a shorter blade, for himself. The skates costs $15, even though his brother and several others told him they would never become popular. The skates eventually helped him earn his reputation as a fast skater. The type skate developed for Garnet soon became used by the skate of choice for hockey players and are still in use. However, the Pittsburgh Professionals didn't fare too well during the league's first season. But in 1905-06, they were part of a great three team race with Portage Lakes and the Michigan Soo Indians for first place.