The team first played exhibition games of ice hockey in 1895. The Duquesne team then played in the first season of the WPHL at the Schenley Park Casino, with three other teams, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, a club from Western University of Pennsylvania (the University of Pittsburgh today) and a team known as Pittsburgh, or the 'Casino' team. The league played twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday nights. The Duquesne and the WPHL continued play until December 16, when the Casino rink was destroyed by fire. The Duquesne finished the shortened season of league play with a 2-3 record.
The league and the Duquesne resumed play in 1898, with its games moved to the new ice rink at the Duquesne Gardens, with league members the Pittsburgh Athletic Club and Western University. Many of the team's players came from Canada, with the Pittsburgh-based club owners luring players to the area with the promise of high paying jobs and a living stipend. The Duquesne did not play in the league in the following season. However, they returned to the league during its final season in 1908–09. Future Hall of Famer Alf Smith played for the Duquesne during their final season in the league, where they posted an 11-5-1 record for second-place finish. The team returned and played in local hockey games after the initial fold of the WPHL. The team later played games inside the Winter Garden at Exposition Hall from 1916–1920.